General Instrument MMH-321V Bare LED Die  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2007-05-02  


In 1979, Monsanto sold it's LED division to General Instrument, which continued to manufacture many Monsanto LED types under the General Instrument brand. These barely macroscopic components are individual LED dies used for manufacturing early LED displays like the Monsanto MAN-2. Like many bare semiconductor dies, these are truly tiny; each LED die is about three human hairs in width. Dies like this would have normally only been used internally by a display fabrication company, and were never intended to be sold to the general public. Multiple dies are attached to a conductive backing to form lines and characters, and an extremely fine bond wire is connected to the cross-shaped contact on the top of each die to complete the circuit.

Note that in the thumbnail photo, a single 321V die has been mounted in a test fixture so it can be activated and made visible. Loose MMH-321V dies are tiny specks of nothing that can barely be seen with the naked eye.


General Instrument MMH-321V bare diode die installed in a test fixture with power applied.

A selection of diode dies under 30X magnification.

MAN2A LED display, built by General Instruments, 40x magnification. The MAN2A made use of MMH-321V dies.

This factory vial contains 4580 individual dies, and an unspecified amount of cotton batting.

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