June 30, 2017

BTR004K - heart of Batteriser/Batteroo : weekend die-shot

There was quite some hate heard in engineering communities regarding Batteriser : product claiming to extract "up to" 800% more power from the battery. It's a thin sleeve with 1 active component - BTR004 chip. This is a boost DCDC chip with external capacitors and inductors.

Chip itself is not all that dumb - it's a custom job (see BTR004K marking at the top left corner), with very low quiescent current and apparently able to drive large range of loads.

More than half of the chip area is occupied by 4 MOSFETs. Most likely they are connecting SW1/SW2 pins to ground/output - so we have SW1->ground, SW1->VO1, SW2->ground, SW2->VO2 MOSFETs. Looks like synchronous 2-phase boost converter.

While Batteiser/Batteroo as a product itself is almost never useful (with rare exceptions of badly designed electronic goods consuming low current with unusually high cut-off voltage and/or absolutely no or very bad voltage regulation), chip itself could have been useful as a standalone product, especially if higher output voltages were available. Technologically it's quite advanced product spoiled by marketing and product placement.

Die size 1267x749 µm.

Thanks for the chips to DextersLab2013 (blog, YouTube), guys at EEVBlog forum and of course David Jones for rising this issue in the first place.
June 29, 2017

ST 2STD1665 - power NPN BJT : weekend die-shot

ST 2STD1665 have quite outstanding hFE of 320 (for a non-darlington 65V power BJT). That makes it very useful for switching applications where you wish to drive it with low voltage (e.g. pin of microcontroller with 1.8V VCC) where N-MOSFET would require external circuitry.

You can see extensive net to stitch thin, high-resistance base with metal. Emitter resistance could have been slightly lower with different pad placement (closer to center and on the diagonal) but apparently it's not a major performance-limiting factor.

And... it's just beautiful!

Die size 1740x1727 µm.

April 30, 2017

1107PV2 - 20MHz 8bit Soviet flash ADC : weekend die-shot

1107PV2 is another Soviet flash ADC - 8-bit with 20MHz conversion rate.

Closer look at comparators:

April 24, 2017

1107PV3A - 100MHz 6bit Soviet ADC : weekend die-shot

1107PV3A is a state of the art Soviet 6-bit (+overflow output) flash ADC with impressive 100MHz conversion rate. Rated for 500g continuous linear acceleration.
Die size 3959x2755 µm.

April 17, 2017

LR433A - Chinese 433MHz SAW resonator : weekend die-shot

This Chinese LR433A is a SAW resonator at 433MHz. Heart of numerous simplest RF transmission systems. Die is transparent - it's quartz.

It was packaged this dirty (it looks more like photoresist processing defect). Die size 3681x769 µm.

Comb pitch 3.2µm (line+space). Another specimen had cute defect: only miracle left 2 terminals not shorted:

February 28, 2017

A look inside Russian 28nm MIPS CPU - Baikal-T1

Many of you might have heard about Baikal-T1 - Russian implementation of dual core Imagination Technologies MIPS P5600 32 r5 with on-board 10Gb Ethernet. Baikal was the first to implement P5600 core in silicon.

CPUs itself (had to go through 4 pieces to get a good die):

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