January 30, 2024

National LM200 - early linear voltage regulator : weekend die-shot

Not often we can see useful microchips which are more than 55 years old (datecode 6742). Die size 963x961 µm.
Metal layer is misaligned by ~6-8µm, but looks like it is still functional (scale 0.53µm/px).

Packaged in a beautiful golden package:
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January 1, 2024

PHILIPS TDA8451A - Analog TV CCD delay line : weekend die-shot

TDA8451A replaces ultrasonic delay lines used previously. Analog TV transmitted color and luminance signals in sequence, so one needed to have a delay circuit to get full color image.
Die size 2903x2016 µm.

December 1, 2023

STMicroelectronics TS974IDT - quad CMOS opamp : weekend die-shot

This R2R opamp needs as little as 2.7V VCC to operate. Die size 1368x1408 µm.
Look at that 4-way VCC split to improve channel-to-channel isolation!

November 29, 2023

Philips NE558N - quad 555 timer : weekend die-shot

One can compare to Segnetics NE558N (Segnetics was acquired by Philips in 1975). Die size 2435x2408 µm.

October 30, 2023

NXP PMBT2369 - supercomputer NPN BJT : weekend die-shot

This is how peak compute looked like in 1960's: PMBT2369 is a successor of 2N709, heart of CDC 6600 supercomputer from 1964. I was long fascinated by transistor computers, and deep dive by Tim was extremely interesting. Key to success here is not just multi-finger layout (which is quite common in high-frequency transistors) but also gold doping which dramatically reduce saturation recovery time without any additional circuitry. You can also see this Gold trick in Fast Recovery Diodes.

If you know other widely available yet inexpensive fast transistor for logic circuits - please let us know!

Die size 299x239 µm. That's probably the first transistor we've seen where there is small test BJT in every BJT.