An artificial environment
for the manufacture of chip
s in which the air
has been scrubbed
to remove almost all the matter
normally floating around in air -- microorganism
, and the like.
Clean rooms are used with airlocks and bunny suits because even the slightest speck of dust can ruin a silicon wafer.
When speaking of code, a clean room implementation of a piece of software is one created without using other code as an immediate reference guide. To create an alternate implementation of a protocol without getting sued, for example, one either avoids reading the code for a non-free version or waits a certain amount of time after reading it. This helps to keep a programmer from inadvertently using proprietary code.