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A semiconductor is a material with an intermediate property between that of a material that conducts electrons easily (i.e., a conductor) and that of a material that does not conduct electrons easily (i.e., an insulator). Alternately, it may refer to the "semiconductor" components, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and transistors fabricated from semiconductor materials, and the large-scale integrated circuits (called "LSIs") and integrated circuits (ICs) that configure them. Among materials (such as silicon, germanium, and gallium arsenide) that are semiconductors, silicon is the main one used for semiconductor components. The conductivity of a semiconductor changes according to differences in conditions (temperature, brightness, electric field, magnetic field, etc.) and amount of impurities it contains. That property is exploited in fabricating semiconductor components.

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