We love microchips

- That's why we boil them in acid.

February 28, 2018

HP DeskJet 840c thermal inkjet printing head : weekend die-shot

This chip was used in monochrome ink cartridge of HP DeskJet 840c thermal inkjet printer. Die has a "power" transistor to control heating element near each nozzle. External heaters are connected on top and bottom parts of the chip. "Heaters" are printed on a Kapton film using conductive ink, and this film is glued to the face of the die to directly connect printed heaters to the die pads. When heater is enabled - it forms small bubble of vapor which ejects small droplet of ink through the nozzle.

Die size 15.12x4.39 mm.

Inkjet nozzles on a Kapton tape are likely ion-etched, laser drilled holes should have been much less perfect. On the other hand positions of nozzles are slightly not regular.

Nozzle diameter is 25µm, nozzle pitch is 75µm.

February 27, 2018

Diodes (?) AH284 - brushless fan controller with integrated hall sensor : weekend die-shot

We've found this chip inside ThermalRight X-silent 120 fan. Chip has markings 284 9511 which probably means it is Diodes AH284 (or compatible). On the chip there are 2 power FETs and hall-effect sensor.
Die size 1360x1118 µm.

December 10, 2017

MOC3061 - Zero-cross optoisolated triac driver : weekend die-shot

MOC3061 contains infrared LED and small zero-cross phototriac to drive large external power triac. Photosensitive area is part of the triac itself.
Die size 1378x1309 µm.

November 27, 2017

Noname LED blinker : weekend die-shot

This is the chip found in simplest possible device one could sell - blinking warning light made somewhere in China, which flashes 2 red LEDs sequentially. Chip was bonded directly to PCB.

Chip internals are more complicated than one would imagine - there are 5 LED channels, only 2 of which are used here. Layout resembles other blinkers we've seen in the past (flicker, RGB). It's fascinating that there is a company somewhere specialized in making LED blinkers of various kind and doing just fine.

Die size 587x479 µm.

October 31, 2017

UMC UA6538 - Dendy (NES compatible) PPU : weekend die-shot

UMC UA6538 was a "GPU" (called PPU - "picture processing unit" at the time) of a Dendy, NES-compatible console which was very popular in Russia until late 90's. Decap was done for reverse engineering of differences vs original NES at nesdev.com.

Die size 4578x4069 µm.

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October 3, 2017

Philips NE5532A : weekend die-shot

Another genuine NE5532A from Philips. You can see it is much more similar to genuine Ti NE5532 than to fake.

October 3, 2017

Ti NE5532 - real vs fake : weekend die-shot

We have spotted yet another real/fake pair of very common microchip. This time it is Ti NE5532. NE5532 is a very fine opamp which will do just fine in 99% of audio applications. I afraid it got at bit of bad fame due to fakes which have quantitatively slower slew rate and sound objectively worse.

Genuine Ti NE5532 has die size of 2103x2154µm.

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