Friday, February 3, 2017

Viewing an IC Fragment Underneath a Microscope

I have a small sliver of an integrated circuit in my possession, and I decided to put it under a microscope:

It's truly amazing that this beauty remains unseen inside our computers and electronic devices. These photos are at 10x magnification.

The photos were taken simply by holding the camera up to the eyepiece of the microscope.

I'm not sure what the different portions do, but I would guess that this sliver is from a microcontroller. I would posit that the small squares are part of the onboard memory.

I especially enjoy the fact that the light shines through the silicon.

We can take advantage of the transparency of the fragment and zoom in even more to the 40x magnification:

The detail is truly incredible.

I can't explain the purpose of the slightly different gates. Perhaps some are NAND and some are NOR.

The microscope I used is from the "Swift Nine-Fifty Series," and has a 4x, 10x, and 40x zoom, along with a slide lamp. It is a rather standard entry-level microscope, but it gets the job done just fine.

With the slide lamp illuminated.

Until next week!