Tag Archives: ic

Inside the tiny RFID chip that runs San Francisco’s race

chip-0014

Ken Shirriff teardowns an RFID chip used to track the time each runner took to run the race.

At the beginning and end of the race, the runners cross special mats that contain antennas and broadcast ultra high frequency radio signals. The runner’s RFID chip detects this signal and sends back the athlete’s ID number, which is programmed into the chip. By tracking these ID numbers, the system determines the time each runner took to run the race. The cool thing about these RFID chips is they are powered by the received radio signal; they don’t need a battery.

Inside the tiny RFID chip that runs San Francisco’s race – [Link]

World’s First 1,000-Processor Chip

kilocore_chipby Andy Fell:

A microchip containing 1,000 independent programmable processors has been designed by a team at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The energy-efficient “KiloCore” chip has a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second and contains 621 million transistors. The KiloCore was presented at the 2016 Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Honolulu on June 16.

World’s First 1,000-Processor Chip – [Link]

Micro-supercapacitor fits inside IoT chips

20160613095602_led-vtt-micro-supercapacitor

by Jan Buiting @ elektormagazine.com:

Zero-power autonomous devices will abound on the IoT of the future, and battery manufacturers are scratching their heads to come up with the best possible solution ensuring high energy and power density at miniature scale. A new material developed recently at Finland-based VTT shows promise, based on energy and power density of a supercapacitor depending on the surface area and conductivity of the solid electrodes. The size? So small it fits inside an IC.

Micro-supercapacitor fits inside IoT chips – [Link]

Energy monitoring using ATM90E26

IMG_20160509_131335

Tisham Dhar designed an ATM90E26 energy meter breakout board which can be used in single phase power measurements.

After designing and testing the ADE7763 based Energy Monitor Breakout Board, I started looking around for cheaper and more modern alternatives.I came across the Atmel ATM90E26 Smart Metering IC with dual communication options – UART/SPI and multiple metering modes (tamper proofing with current sensing on live and neutral).

Energy monitoring using ATM90E26 – [Link]

Reverse engineering the popular 555 timer chip (CMOS version)

blocks

Ken Shirriff reverse engineer the CMOS version of 555 timer IC and explains how it works.

This article explains how the LMC555 timer chip works, from the tiny transistors and resistors on the silicon chip, to the functional units such as comparators and current mirrors that make it work. The popular 555 timer integrated circuit is said to be the world’s best-selling integrated circuit with billions sold since it was designed in 1970 by analog IC wizard Hans Camenzind[1].

Reverse engineering the popular 555 timer chip (CMOS version) – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Hot rods keep the die cool

20160223104825_hotrod-qfn

Clemens Valens @ elektormagazine.com shows us a new IC Package that keeps the IC cool.

Texas Instruments’ HotRod QFN is a thermally enhanced plastic package with solder lands on all sides as well as power buses for enhanced current carrying capability. Inside the package the die is mounted on a copper lead frame which eliminates the power wire bonds, improving electrical and thermal performance. This technique also improves application efficiency and minimizes package parasitic radiation.

Hot rods keep the die cool – [Link]

Reverse engineering the popular 555 timer chip

blocks-600x439

Ken Shirriff wrote an article on reverse engineering the 555 timer chip, He writes:

This article explains how the LMC555 timer chip works, from the tiny transistors and resistors on the silicon chip, to the functional units such as comparators and current mirrors that make it work. The popular 555 timer integrated circuit is said to be the world’s best-selling integrated circuit with billions sold since it was designed in 1970 by analog IC wizard Hans Camenzind[1]. The LMC555 is a low-power CMOS version of the 555; instead of the bipolar transistors in the classic 555 (which I described earlier), the CMOS chip is built from low-power MOS transistors. The LMC555 chip can be understood by carefully examining the die photo.

Reverse engineering the popular 555 timer chip – [Link]

A biometric sensor for wearables – LG Innotek

2016021811237503

LG Innotek has released an ultra-thin optical biometric sensor module designed to be used in wearables and smartphones to measure health parameters such as heartbeat, stress indicators and blood oxygen saturation level. The new sensor is more accurate than it’s predecessors achieving ±5 bpm range of error and consumes very little power to operate. At stable heartbeat rate an accuracy of ±2 bpm can be achieved, which is as good as conventional medical instruments. The module is just 1 mm thick and contains a photodiode, five LEDs and an IC.

A biometric sensor for wearables – LG Innotek – [Link]

555 Timer Teardown

penny-600

Ken Shirriff has done a detailed teardown of the popular 555 timer IC. Let’s take a look inside this little chip:

Given the popularity of the 555 timer, I thought it would be interesting to find out what’s inside the 555 timer and how it works. While the 555 timer is usually sold as a black plastic IC, it is also available in a metal can, which can be cut open with a hacksaw revealing the tiny die inside.

555 Timer Teardown – [Link]

200 chip definitions everyone should know

Epiphany-III-Wirebond-1024x768

Andreas Olofsson @ parallella.org has compiled a long list of acronyms used in the chip industry. If you would like to be an expert on IC field, take your time and check it out.

Given how important chips are to modern society EVERYONE should understand and appreciate how they are made. Every field has its own set of terms, jargon, and acronyms (engineers love acronyms!). As you would expect, chip design is no different. If you are new to chip design, it might take you a few days to read through the Wikipedia entries for each one of these 200 topics.

200 chip definitions everyone should know – [Link]