September 11, 2022

RCA CA3019 - 6xBJT transistor array : weekend die-shot

Die size 1019x1015 µm. 6 BJT's are wired as diodes. If you wondered, where are missing 2 transistors in CA3018 - here they are.

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September 4, 2022

RCA CA3018 - 4xBJT transistor array : weekend die-shot

RCA CA3018 is 4 BJT monolithic transistors in a single package. 2 unused transistors on the die.
Die size 1007x1005 µm.

September 1, 2022

SEM deep dive #1 : weekend die-shot

SEM not only allows to see smaller things - it can also have larger depth of focus (so we can see things more in "3d") and shows texture/material differently. Let's look at few select chips of the past 2 years.

First K122UN2 - dual stage audio amplifier:

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September 1, 2022
July 9, 2022

Laser decapsulation - not so fast

After dreaming for many years about a cleaner way of chip decapsulation, I finally got my hands on a MOPA fiber laser. But like many things in this life, it apparently is more complicated than it seems. I went through ~20 chips trying to find pulse energy threshold that still eats through plastic, but keeps microchip alive. Unfortunately, at least for glass-filled plastic, I don't see any opening in the process window.

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