August 18, 2014

Ti CC1100 (formerly Chipcon) : weekend die-shot

Ti CC1100 is a radio transceiver for 300-348 MHz, 400-464 MHz and 800-928 MHz ranges.

Apparently there are 30 initials of the people, involved in the design of this chip mentioned at the lower right corner. Although this chip was designed after Ti acquisition of Chipcon (that happened in January 2006), it is still marked as Chipcon.

August 4, 2014

Fairchild NC7SZ57 - universal 2-input gate : weekend die-shot

Fairchild NC7SZ57 (and 58) - are universal 2-input shmitt gates, which let us implement various 2-input logic functions by wiring pins in different ways.

Die size 416x362 µm, which is the smallest among microchips we've seen.

Comparing to 1-gate NAND2 Ti SN74AHC1G00 - die area here is 1/3 smaller because area below pads is not wasted and used for IO transistors and wiring. It is unclear though how they achieved decent yields (as things there might get damaged during wire bonding) - we can only tell that insulation before last metal is much thicker than usual.

if you have experience or knowledge on getting high-yield logic under pads - this is something we would be interested to have in our own product.

July 29, 2014

NXP PCA9570 - 4-bit IO expander : weekend die-shot

NXP PCA9570 is an I²C 4-bit IO expander, although there are 4 unused pads on the die: probably 8-bit version uses the same die. 800nm technology.

Die size 589x600 µm.

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July 27, 2014

KILAR KV1084 5A linear regulator : weekend die-shot

Remember good old times when you could feed CPU from single linear regulator? KILAR KV1084 came from this time.

Comparing to LM2940L or LM1117 there are more bonding pads per signal and obviously larger output transistors. Chip was soldered on copper heat spreader to help dissipate 10W+.

Die size 3075x3026 µm.

July 25, 2014

OPA627, genuine one this time : weekend die-shot

Last time we decapped 2 fake OPA627's from ebay: one was remarked AD744 part, another was unidentified remarked BB part.

Recently reader sent us one more OPA627 from ebay. This chip appeared to be genuine.

Die size 2940x2005 µm.

July 11, 2014

Milandr 1986VE21 : weekend die-shot

Milandr 1986VE21 - is a microcontroller for 3-phase electricity meters. Rare example of purely civilian Russian microchip which was not funded by any government agency.

May 22, 2014

KR580VM80A - getting ready for reverse engineering : weekend die-shot

We decided to take a closer look at the most popular soviet processor KR580VM80A (first shoot), so that group of enthusiasts (russian only) would be able to recover schematic from it's layout.

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