Tag Archives: Die

Analyzing the vintage 8008 processor from die photos

Ken Shirriff writes:

The revolutionary Intel 8008 microprocessor is 45 years old today (March 13, 2017), so I figured it’s time for a blog post on reverse-engineering its internal circuits. One of the interesting things about old computers is how they implemented things in unexpected ways, and the 8008 is no exception. Compared to modern architectures, one unusual feature of the 8008 is it had an on-chip stack for subroutine calls, rather than storing the stack in RAM. And instead of using normal binary counters for the stack, the 8008 saved a few gates by using shift-register counters that generated pseudo-random values. In this article, I reverse-engineer these circuits from die photos and explain how they work.

Analyzing the vintage 8008 processor from die photos – [Link]

Inside the 74181 ALU chip: die photos and reverse engineering

A detailed die photos and reverse engineering of the 74181 ALU chip by Ken Shirriff:

What’s inside a TTL chip? To find out, I opened up a 74181 ALU chip, took high-resolution die photos, and reverse-engineered the chip.1 Inside I found several types of gates, implemented with interesting circuitry and unusual transistors. The 74181 was a popular chip in the 1970s used to perform calculations in the arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) of minicomputers. It is a moderately complex chip containing about 67 gates and 170 transistors3, implemented using fast and popular TTL (transistor-transistor logic) circuitry.

Inside the 74181 ALU chip: die photos and reverse engineering – [Link]

Schematic, Mask, and Die Shot of Intel’s 4004 CPU from 1971

Intel_C4004

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, adafruit stumbled upon these high-resolution images of Intel’s 1971-released 4004 CPU. Click any of the below images to view them at their maximum scale on the MIT domain:

Schematic, Mask, and Die Shot of Intel’s 4004 CPU from 1971 – [Link]

ST TL072 – dual JFET opamp die-shot

ST-TL072CDT

A new die shoot from zeptobars.com. Die size 1547×1279 µm.

ST TL072 – dual JFET opamp die-shot – [Link]