November 15, 2012

How to «open» microchip and what's inside?

Microchips - are indeed can be considered a black box - as long as it's working you normally don't look inside.
But what if you want to?

Today we'll show how to "open" chips and what's inside.

WARNING! All operations with concentrated (and especially hot) acids are extremely dangerous. Only trained persons should work with them using required protective equipment (acid-prof gloves, protection glasses, protective suit, fume hood and more). Remember that you only have 2 eyes!
This article is for educational purposes only, do not try to repeat!.

Opening microchips

Take some microchips of interest and add concentrated sulfuric acid. Container should be closed, but not airtight, so that fumes can escape (that is extremely important). Heat it to boiling temperature (300 °C). White substance at the bottom is baking soda - it's here to neutralize accidental spills and part of fumes.

Read more →
November 10, 2012

STM NE556 : Weekend die-shot

We couldn't leave our readers without successful die-shot this weekend, so we shoot STMicroelectronics NE556 chip - dual 555 timer.

Die size - 2066x1576µm, smallest features are 10µm.

November 10, 2012

Invensense MPU6050 : Weekend die-shot fail

Invensense MPU6050 - is a very interesting 16bit gyroscope+accelerometer chip.
Unfortunately, there are 2 dies attached face-to-face, and we were unable to separate them without crushing them into pieces.
Let us know if you know how to separate such attached dies.

November 4, 2012

Micron MT4C1024 : Weekend die-shot

Micron MT4C1024 - 1 mebibit (220 bit) dynamic ram.
Widely used in 286 and 386-era computers, early 90's.

Die size - 8662x3969µm.

October 21, 2012

AMD Palce16V8h : Weekend die-shot

GAL(Generic array logic) microchips are FPGA and CPLD grandfathers.
AMD Palce16V8h is an 32x64 array of AND elements.

Die size - 2434x2079µm, 1µm technology.

September 30, 2012

Altera EPM7032 : Weekend die-shot

Altera EPM7032 - CPLD which have seen a lot... One of the last using 5V supply.

Die size - 3446x2252µm, technology node 1µm.

September 23, 2012

Atmel ATmega8 : Weekend die-shot

ATmega8 - one of the most popular 8-bit microcontrollers.

Die size - 2855x2795µm, technology node 500nm.