We love microchips

- That's why we boil them in acid.

June 29, 2015

BFG135 - NPN 7GHz RF BJT transistor : weekend die-shot

BFG135 - 7GHz RF NPN transistor with integrated emitter-ballasting resistors. Transistor is so sparse to lower thermal (mainly) and collector resistance.
Die size 668x538 µm, transistor fin halfpitch - 800nm.



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June 24, 2015

nRF51822 - Bluetooth LE SoC : weekend die-shot

nRF51822 is a widely used Bluetooth LE SoC with Cortex-M0 core and on-chip buck DC-DC (LC are external).
Die size 3833x3503 µm, ~180nm technology.


June 3, 2015

RGB flicker LED : weekend die-shot


Unlike previous LED, this one is completely deterministic: diodes differ slightly only in RC oscillator frequency (~±10%). Regular structure at the lower-left side suggests that it's some sort of microcode-driven design.

Die size 553x474 µm, 1.5µm technology.

Thanks for this interesting chip to ASIP department of Gomel State University.
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June 3, 2015

Flicker LED : weekend die-shot

Some might have seen candle flicker LED - their brightness is modulated randomly to mimic real candle. It is achieved by using digital die copackaged with red LED die in standard 5mm transparent case.



This design is apparently using phase difference between 2 RC oscillators as source of random data. There are multiple designs in the wild, some other apparently based on LFSR with single oscillator. More on the topic: siliconpr0n.org, cpldcpu.wordpress.com, hackaday.com.

Die size 580x476 µm, 3µm technology.

Thanks for this interesting chip to ASIP department of Gomel State University.
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March 20, 2015

Samsung SuperAMOLED : weekend die-shot

Updated March 20, 2015: Thanks to lucky(?) accident and new lens we managed to take much better photos of Samsung SuperAMOLED display:


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February 23, 2015

Nordic NRF24L01+ - real vs fake : weekend die-shot

Nordic NRF24L01+ (NRF24L01P) is a very popular 2.4Ghz transceiver used in countless consumer products. Not surprising that we've came across it's fake.

Genuine: This chip was extracted from "expensive" (~10$) RF module with additional RF amplifier chip:


Die size - 1876x1761 µm, 250nm technology.
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