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23 Sep 2013

A look into Fairchild Semiconductor’s integrated circuit manufacturing from an educational promotional film broadcast on television on October 11, 1967:

Fairchild Semiconductor presented its new products and technologies with an entrepreneurial style, and its early manufacturing and marketing techniques helped give Californias Santa Clara County a new name: Silicon Valley. It was one of the early forerunners of what would become a worldwide high-tech industry, as evidenced in this short promotional film.

Fairchild Semiconductor Briefing on Integrated Circuits - [Link]

31 Aug 2013

An excellent video about How Microchips are made!

How Microchips are made - [Link]

12 Aug 2013


ULN2003 – practical example of «reading» microchip schematic via Evil Mad Scientist

We often receive comments that while out microchip photos are beautiful and interesting, it is completely unclear how integrated circuit implements basic elements and form larger circuit. Of course it is impossible to do a detailed review of an 1’000’000 transistor chip, so we’ve found simpler example: ULN2003 – array ofDarlington transistors.

Despite it’s simplicity this microchip is still widely used and mass manufactured. ULN2003 contains 21 resistors, 14 BJT transistors and 7 diodes. It is used to control relatively high load (up to 50V/0.5A) from microcontroller pin. Canonical use case – to control segments of large 7-segment LED displays.

What’s inside the ULN2003 Darlington driver chip - [Link]

30 Jul 2013


The TS3004 is a single-supply, timer IC fully specified to operate over a supply voltage range of 1.55V to 5.25V while consuming 1.9μA supply current. Requiring only a resistor to set the base output frequency (or output period) at 25kHz (or 40µs) with a 50% duty cycle, the TS3004 timer/oscillator is compact, easy-to-use, and versatile. Optimized for ultra-long life, low frequency, battery-powered/portable applications, the TS3004 joins the TS3001, TS3002, TS3003, TS3005, and TS3006 in Touchstone’s CMOS timer family.

TS3004: A 1.55V TO 5.25V, 1.9µA, 0.005Hz TO 300kHz RESISTOR-TUNABLE TIMER IC - [Link]

19 Jul 2013


Occupying a footprint of just 2.57×3.24 mm, the STA333IS single-chip digital audio system from STMicroelectronics furnishes up to 20 W of audio output power for use in space-constrained LCD and LED televisions, docking stations, and digital wireless speaker systems. With is wide operating voltage range of 4.5 V to 18 V, the device is also suitable for battery-operated equipment.

Part of ST’s SoundTerminal family, the STA333IS combines digital audio IP, such as FFX full flexible amplification, along with signal processing and power circuitry in a chip-scale package to create a high-power, single-chip solution for all-digital amplification. Its power section consists of four independent half-bridge stages. Two channels can be provided by two full bridges capable of delivering up to 10 W + 10 W of power.

Tiny digital audio SoC delivers up to 20 W - [Link]

7 May 2013


VHF FM Aircraft receiver:

VHF FM Aircraft Receiver is a superregenative receiver developed for listening to FM transmitters but also tunes the aircraft band and the top portion of the FM broadcast band. Receives both AM and FM (107mHz to 135 MHz). You can use this receiver with the any FM transmitter. The receiver is amazingly simple using only one transistor for the receiver section and one IC for the audio section. This circuit is a self-quenching regenerative RF receiver also known as a superregenerative receiver.


VHF FM Aircraft receiver - [Link]

5 May 2013

Here’s an amazing new DNA testing chip by Panasonic together with the Belgium-based research institution IMEC. It delivers DNA results within an hour:

This is the chip we’ve actually developed. As you can see, it’s less than half the size of a business card. It contains everything needed for testing DNA. Once a drop of blood is inserted, the chip completes the entire process, up to SNP detection.

New chip delivers DNA results within an hour - [Link]

1 Apr 2013


sigalabs.com have designed and build a great OBD2 Arduino Shield using STN110 IC :

The STN110 is a multiprotocol OBD to UART interpreter IC. It provides an easy means of accessing vehicle data, including diagnostic trouble codes, MIL status, VIN, Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) information, In-use Performance Tracking (IPT), and hundreds of real-time parameters.

It is compatible with famous ELM327 commands but introduce many new great features.

Vehicle OBD2 Arduino Shield with STN1110 IC - [Link]

21 Mar 2013


Imec demonstrated a low-power (20µW), intra-cardiac signal processing chip for the detection of ventricular fibrillation at this week’s International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC 2013) in San Francisco with Olympus. An important step toward next-generation Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy solutions, the new chip delivers innovative signal processing functionalities and consumes only 20µW when all channels are active, enabling the miniaturization of implantable devices. [via]

Robust and accurate heart rate monitoring of the right and left ventricles and the right atrium is essential for implantable devices used in cardiac resynchronization therapy, and accurate motion sensor and thoracic impedance measurements to analyze intrathoracic fluid are critical for improving clinical research and analysis of intracardiac rhythm. Extremely low power consumption is also necessary to reduce the size of cardiac implants and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Carry a Chip in your Heart - [Link]

21 Feb 2013


State-of-Charge Measurement for Lithium-Ion Batteries is an advanced task, but can be simplified using specific ICs able to measure accurate SOC of Li-Ion batteries. Stephen Evanczuk writes:

All energy-harvesting-based systems need energy storage for times when the energy cannot be harvested (e.g., at night for solar-powered systems). Rechargeable batteries ‒ known as “secondary” cells to differentiate them from “primary” or single-use cells ‒ are usually specified for this task.

For rechargeable batteries, however, battery management depends on the best possible measurement of what is known as the state-of-charge (SOC) of battery cells. For lithium-ion batteries, the characteristics of Li-ion cells complicate SOC measurement and can challenge engineers looking to maximize Li-ion battery lifetime. To simplify design of Li-ion battery management systems, engineers can leverage a variety of SOC measurement techniques supported in ICs from Atmel, Linear Technology, Maxim Integrated Products, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.

Advanced ICs Simplify Accurate State-of-Charge Measurement for Lithium-Ion Batteries - [Link]





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