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08-03-2018, 01:07 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Electro Macro 1
Lens: 28mm SMC Takumar Camera: K-3 Photo Location: Apple Valley ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F8 

Here we have a 2:1 macro shot cropped to show a single old microchip still on wafer. The chip is about 4mm on the long edge and is a programmable read only memory (PROM).
The shot was taken with a reverse mounted 28mm SMC takumar illuminated by the warm CFL kitchen lights above.
Exposure time was 30 seconds.
The image was cropped to show one full chip.


This chip dates to about 1971 or 1972 and has a feature size of 5um or 7um. This is about 1000 times larger than today's best semiconductors that will pack in about a million transistors in the area that one transistor here takes up. There are 20 rows of 63 transistors here for a total storage capacity of 1260 bits. The traces you see are actually aluminum and when photographed with a flash were the expected shiny silver color but the detail for the layers got lost when photographed with a flash so the overhead kitchen light was used instead. No trade secrets or patents exposed here as they have all long expired.

08-04-2018, 01:00 PM   #2
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Very cool image.
08-09-2018, 04:49 PM   #3
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I really like this. Splendid work.
08-09-2018, 07:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I really like this. Splendid work.
I have more that when I get some time I will photography. It gives a view into something most people haven't ever really seen. Beside apart from bugs and flowers there needs to be some more variety in macro shots.

08-10-2018, 11:55 AM   #5
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Nice. I'm curious how you managed to get a wafer.
08-10-2018, 12:24 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhaji Quote
Nice. I'm curious how you managed to get a wafer.
My father-in-law was a semiconductor engineer for ages starting his career in the field in the late 60s after working at various national labs. I asked him if happened to have any ones I could try doing macro photography with and ended up getting a stack of various ones from 1 inch up to 2.5 inches in size that he had acquired over the years. Those ones were all state of the art when they were new showing just how far things have come.

I actually had one of my own from a place I interned at in college (got because my future father-in-law dropped my resume into the correct basket) from back in 98 that I still can't find. That one was a 3 inch wafer which was not the modern state of the art at the time but for that place it was cost effective to use old used tooling because analogue signal pre-amps for hard drives don't need to be created on the latest semiconductor processe.

This winter I will probably get around to photographing all of them as it is something to do indoors when the cold will try to kill you. They are small enough that a 1:3 magnification should be able to get the entire waver in the frame so maybe I will take some pictures like that of them too.
08-10-2018, 12:59 PM   #7
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Very informative. Thanks for sharing. I did not know that wafers were that small once upon a time. The transition from 200mm to 300mm was when I first looked into it.
08-10-2018, 01:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhaji Quote
Very informative. Thanks for sharing. I did not know that wafers were that small once upon a time. The transition from 200mm to 300mm was when I first looked into it.
If I remember correctly the 200mm ones were either just new or just on the horizon in 98. Then again that was 20 years ago now and I wasn't an EE or process engineer and instead was the intern who got to write the code to run the robotic test equipment so an NT4 machine could run it. Thus I never really followed those developments all that closely.

08-22-2018, 02:30 PM   #9
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Nice! would like to see a pic from the setup also
08-22-2018, 03:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Valojuova Quote
Nice! would like to see a pic from the setup also
I will take one the next time do so. Maybe this weekend as it may rain.
08-22-2018, 06:09 PM   #11
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Wow, nice!
08-24-2018, 11:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Santiago Koroviev Quote
Wow, nice!
I was hoping that people would like it as it this is something most people will never actually be able to see. I would still like some pointers on improving it or on technique in general.
08-31-2018, 04:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
The image was cropped to show one full chip.
shh be quiet, there is some reverse engineering disguise as forum members!!!



Thank for sharing.
08-31-2018, 04:20 PM   #14
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Whoa, cool!. That would make a neat throw rug pattern.
09-01-2018, 08:03 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by carabez Quote
hh be quiet, there is some reverse engineering disguise as forum members!!!
I don't think anyone would want to reverse engineer a 1260 bit PROM chip.
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