February 21, 2013

Part II: How to «open» microchip and what's inside? Z80, Multiclet, MSP430, PIC and more

In this article we'll continue cracking microchips open. If you've missed first article - it's here.

«Canonical» way of opening microchips:

Cut a small hole in the center of the chip with a dremel:

Read more →
February 21, 2013

PIC16C505 : Weekend die-shot

PIC16C505 - another "old" PIC, again 1200nm.

February 21, 2013

PIC12C508 : Weekend die-shot

PIC12C508 - one of the "old" PIC's. Manufacturing technology - 1200nm, the oldest we've seen in microcontrollers being sold at the moment.

February 21, 2013

MSP430F122 : Weekend die-shot

MSP430F122 - 16-bit microcontroller made by Texas Instruments. What's interesting is that die is marked as MSP430F123, with larger flash size.

February 21, 2013

K565RU5 : Weekend die-shot

K565RU5 (pin-compatible to 4164 DRAM chip) - 64 Kib DRAM chip, heart of most of amateur computers made in late soviet times and early 90's. There was also RU7 chip (256 Kib) but it was hard to buy.

Die size 5645x2612 µm.

February 11, 2013

Moscow's metro MIFARE/RFID chip : Weekend die-shot

Since February 2013 you can find Sitronics-Mikron's RFID chips inside Moscow's metro tickets, instead of NXP ones which were used before.
Mikron chip is 20% smaller. Die size 610x526 µm.

Significant part of chip area is used by passive components:

January 24, 2013

Multiclet MCp0411100101 : Weekend die-shot

Multiclet - basically is a superscalar processor (4-wide at present) with out-of-order execution. 100 Mhz clock, 180nm tech. node, designed in Russia.
Die size - 10.2x10.2 mm.

After metallization etch (warning, high-resolution image might kill your browser):

SRAM cell size - 21.28 µm2. So, each of 16 memory blocks contains 72 Kibit of SRAM. Apparently ECC codes are used (72,64). Total accessible memory - 128 KiB.

Autosynthesized standard cell logic:

Test areas were cut with the crystal (resolution test):