July 11, 2014

Milandr 1986VE21 : weekend die-shot

Milandr 1986VE21 - is a microcontroller for 3-phase electricity meters. Rare example of purely civilian Russian microchip which was not funded by any government agency.


May 22, 2014

KR580VM80A - getting ready for reverse engineering : weekend die-shot

We decided to take a closer look at the most popular soviet processor KR580VM80A (first shoot), so that group of enthusiasts (russian only) would be able to recover schematic from it's layout.



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May 17, 2014

Toshiba TCD1201D - linear CCD : weekend die-shot

Toshiba TCD1201D is a monochrome 2048-pixel linear CCD. You can also notice few extra pixels for calibration shielded with aluminum.

Die size 34814x802 µm.



With this die we've reached JPEG limits, full image would be 80k+ pixels wide, so we'll show beginning and the end of the CCD separately:




We are grateful to Kony for this chip.
May 3, 2014

SkyWorks AAT4292 - 7-bit high-side IO expander: weekend die-shot

SkyWorks AAT4292 is a 7-bit IO expander with 100mA 1.1Ω high-side switches per channel.
Die size 1193x618 µm.



After metallization etch:

April 12, 2014

Phillips PCF8574 - 8-bit I2C port expander : weekend die-shot

Phillips PCF8574 is 8-bit I2C port expander, 3µm manufacturing technology.

April 8, 2014

Fake audiophile opamps: OPA627 (AD744?!)

Walking around ebay I noticed insanely cheap OPA627's. It's rather old, popular and high-quality opamps, often used in audiophile gear. Manufacturer (Texas Instruments / Burr Brown) sells them 16-80$ each (depending on package & options) while on ebay it's cost was 2.7$, shipping included.

Obviously, something fishy was going on. I ordered one, and for comparison - older one in metal can package, apparently desoldered from some equipment. Let's see if there is any difference.


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March 29, 2014

SiTime SiT8008 - MEMS oscillator : weekend die-shot

SiTime SiT8008 is a programmable MEMS oscillator reaching quartz precision but with higher reliability and lower g-sensitivity. Also SiTime is one of companies who received investments from Rosnano - Russian high-tech investment fund.

Photo of MEMS die puzzled us for quite some time. Is it some sort of integrated SAW/STW resonator?

The trick is that to reach maximum Q-factor (up to ~186'000 according to patents) MEMS resonator must operate in vacuum. So they package resonator _inside_ the die in hydrogen atmosphere, then anneal it in vacuum so that hydrogen escapes through silicon. So we see here only a cap with contacts to "buried" MEMS resonator. We were unable to reach the resonator itself without x-ray camera or ion mill.

MEMS die size - 457x454 µm.

Thankfully relevant patents were specified right on the die : US6936491 US7514283 US7075160 US7750758 :)



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