January 10, 2013

1886VE10 : Weekend die-shot

1886ВЕ10 is a rad-hard 8-bit microcontroller (50Mhz), designed by Milandr and manufactured at Mikron (Zelenograd, Russia).
Technology : bulk Si, 180nm with aluminum metalization. Radiation hardening is achieved by using edgeless-transistors and 8T SRAM cells.

Die size 5000x3750 µm.

After metalization etch:

Not much to see using optical microscope:

Bright cylinders are tungsten via's left after etching metalization and ILD:

December 23, 2012

KR580VM80A : Weekend die-shot

KR580VM80A - is an Intel 8080-compatible Soviet processor, which was in manufacturing until mid 90's.
Compared to KR580IK80A die size is 20% smaller, IO section is reworked.

Die size 4634x4164 µm, 5µm technology node.

December 16, 2012

STM32F103VGT6 : Weekend die-shot

STM32F103VGT6 is one of the largest STMicroelectronics's Cortex-M3 microcontrollers.
1Mb of flash and 96kb of SRAM consumes most of it's enormous 5339x5188 µm die.

180nm SRAM scratches the limits of optical microscopy:
December 2, 2012

Z80A : Weekend die-shot

Zilog Z80 - legendary successor of 8080 (although, this particular chip is one of it's numerous clones - most likely Z80A made by GDR company MME).
Die size 4950x4720 µm, 5µm manufacturing technology.

November 18, 2012

IRGB20B60PD1PBF : Weekend die-shot

IRGB20B60PD1PBF - 600V/40A IGBT with internal ultra fast soft-recovery diode.

Diode die : size 1.6x1.6mm:

IGBT die : size 4.2x3.85mm, diameter of "dots" - 7.5µm.

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.