July 11, 2024

TT04 - looking inside TinyTapeout 4 (GDS included) : weekend die-shot

Through TinyTapeout project (TT04) I got to design a microchip with a bunch of oscillators, had it working in my hands and inspected under microscope. Now we'll be able to verify if manufactured chip matches GDS design files and is there any secret sauce!

Feel free to inspect source design using KLayout, SKY130 layer definitions, and finally full original GDS design. You can hide metals and DECAP cells in KLayout to make it easier to look around and compare to photos.

You can also watch video interview with decapsulation process here.

Die size 5256x3662 µm.

TT04 with metal removed, side illumination for looks:

Read more →
July 1, 2024

Nyquest NY8A051H - 1.5 cent microcontroller : weekend die-shot

If you were surprised to see 10-cent microcontroller - Nyquest Technology NY8A051H pushes price expectations much, much further down: Its high-volume pricing is just 1.5 cents, and it is currently the cheapest microcontroller in the world* (cheaper than Padauk, the holder of the previous record). I had to order a whopping 20pcs as a minimum order, and it was still under $1. Please note that despite its name - it is not 8051-compatible.

For these 1.5 cents, you don't get much: 1k words of OTP memory and 48 bytes of SRAM, but this might be just enough for many simple applications. And if you need even less and would like to save another fraction of a cent, Nyquest offers a range of simpler 4-bit MCUs.

Die size 497x418 µm. This is where 20pcs minimum order came in handy : the first 2 dies were lost as I was not expecting the die to be this small. A single 300mm wafer could fit 337,000 NY8A051H microcontrollers. It is truly an economic marvel how one is able to manufacture, test, package, and sell microcontrollers at this price point. It is barely larger than a simple BJT.

* in stock at LCSC.

May 31, 2024

Sinowealth SH79F1616P - 8051 from your Microwave : weekend die-shot

Sinowealth SH79F1616P is what runs your Microwave. 12MHz, 16KiB flash, 512 bytes SRAM + extra 19 bytes of LED/LCD controller memory, 1KiB EEPROM-like memory. This chip comes from Sharp-branded microwave manufactured by ODM Guangdong Galanz Enterprises Co., Ltd.

Die size 2129x1563 µm.

May 16, 2024

Power Integrations LNK364PN - 6W AC/DC Converter : weekend die-shot

This is what powers your microwave. Includes on-chip 700V power MOSFET.
Die size 2455x1027 µm.

May 11, 2024

Intel D87C51FC - MCS-51 microcontroller (1980) : weekend die-shot

8051 (MCS-51) is a grandfather of today's embedded electronics, and probably can still natively run 20% of embedded code in use today. 87C51FC is a version where internal PROM is replaced with EPROM. It has 32KiB of UV-erasable EPROM and 256 bytes of SRAM. This is the first chip to survive Zeptobars lab visit as I have more plans for it. Die size 6143x4380 µm. EPROM cell size 12.76µm², SRAM cell size 470.5µm².

Read more →
May 10, 2024

AMD AM27C64 - 512K (8x64k) UV-erasable EPROM : weekend die-shot

Die size 2605x2786 µm. 1-bit cell size 2.54µm².

Read more →
May 5, 2024