Monolithic Integrated Circuits

Click photos to enlarge.


Texas Instruments SN514

TI's SN51x series of RCTL logic chips, released in 1961, is widely recognized to be the world's first commercially available line of integrated circuits. 'SN' stands for 'Semiconductor Network', TI's nod towards the then-radical idea of combining multiple solid state devices into a single package. The SN51x series chips were manufactured from multiple transistor and diode dies, which were hand-wired together with thread-like interconnect leads inside the package. Constructing chips in this manner was both labor-intensive and expensive: early SN51x series chips sold for over $400 when first released.

These early ICs were primarily targeted towards the military and aerospace industry, and the SN514 (along with the SN510) were the first integrated circuits to orbit the earth. The earliest SN51x series chips were packaged in gold plated flat-packs. This example, a SN514 NOR/NAND gate made in November 1962, abandons the military gold package in favor of a more primitive looking 'block of carbon'-style enclosure.


Texas Instruments SN514 Integrated Circuit
OKI Intel M85C154

The Intel M85C154 is a special class of microprocessor known as a 'piggyback' CPU. Piggyback microprocessors are designed to act as a programming development tool and can be easily recognized by the presence of a top mounted socket. In use, the engineer would program a blank EPROM on a desktop computer with their test code, then insert the EPROM into the socket on the microprocessor so the code loaded inside could be tested. Once the code was tested and finalized, a cheaper one-time-programmable microprocessor with built in EPROM would be used in the final product.

The M85C154, an 8 bit CPU based on the Intel 8051, is fairly representative of a typical piggyback microcontroller. This device has a maximum clock speed of 22MHz and 16k of onboard ROM space. Additionally, the M85C154 can address up to 64K of program ROM through it's piggyback socket.

OKI Intel M85C154 Datasheet (PDF)


OKI Intel M85C154 Piggyback Microcontroller
Cypress CYM1620

The CYM620 is a 1 megabit static ram module built around several leadless ICs mounted to a ceramic carrier. Four of these chips are 256k static RAMs, with the fifth being a decoder IC. The RAM units are grouped into a high and low pair, with the decoder reading the highest position address bit to determine which pair should be active. The TTL level inputs and outputs as well as the substantial hermetic packaging and wide temperature ratings make this a fairly robust memory IC.

The example shown here is the -55C variant, which is rated for commercial use and has an access time of 55 nanoseconds.

Cypress CYM1620 Datasheet (PDF)


Cypress CYM1620 Static Ram
Amdahl 470A

The Amdahl 470A is an unusual LSI CPU component chip that was used in Amdahl's 5860 "supercomputer" mainframe. Amdahl was known for making air-cooled computers in a market dominated by water cooling, which resulted in their chips having a very unique construction. This chip is no exception, the top is dominated by a tall heatsink that would have poked into a forced air cooling channel when installed in a computer. During use, many such chips would be bonded into large arrays to construct a complete CPU. Note that this chip has a Fujitsu makers mark... Fujitsu was Amdahl's largest shareholder and eventually grew to own the company outright.

Amdahl's CPUs were so unique in appearance that many factory defects found their way into Lucite promotional paperweights that were produced by the company as sales samples and awards. This is the predominant form in which they are seen nowadays, as Amdahal's various air cooled chips never saw wide use outside the company.


Amdahl 470A LSI IC
Intersil 6100

The Intersil 6100 is a 12 bit CMOS microprocessor first produced by Intersil in 1975. This relatively popular microprocessor family was manufactured in white, purple and plastic versions by both Intersil and Harris Semiconductor. The 6100 used the same instruction set as the popular PDP-8 series of minicomputers, and as a result was used in a number of late-1970s computer systems and logic controllers. One of the most iconic uses of the 6100 was as the CPU in Digital Equipment Corporation's line of DECmate personal computers. These machines took advantage of the 6100s instruction set to run reduced versions of the operating system used on some PDP-8 machines, although later DECmate computers included a Zilog Z80 for CP/M compatibility.


Intersil 6100 Microprocessor
Atmel AT27C256R

Devices included in this entry:

Atmel AT27C256R (256K leadless carrier; pictured in thumbnail)
Microchip 27512 (512K leadless carrier)

Atmel's AT27C256R is a 256K EPROM in a tiny surface mount leadless package. Though the majority of modern 27C256 devices are one time programmable IC's in anonymous plastic enclosures, this earlier gold and ceramic example includes a glass window for UV erasure. Later UV erasure versions of this part use an all-ceramic package, but retain the circular UV window.


Atmel AT27C256R EPROM
Fairchild FCCD 143D

the FCCD 143D is a linear CCD, which is a light sensor that contains an array of photosensitive elements fixed end to end in a single line. Images are drawn by scanning a beam of light across the length of the CCD, capturing one line at a time. In this device, the light sensitive die has been packaged in a large 28 pin ceramic DIP with a glass cavity lid. The die for this device is much larger than what would be used in a conventional integrated circuit, and spans nearly the entire length of the device.

Fairchild FCCD 143D Linear CCD
Lucent T 7102A

Little is known about the Lucent 7102A, other than that it is an X.25/X.75 protocol controller that was in use in telephone switching equipment in the early 1990s. The most distinctive feature of this IC is it's unusual pin configuration; the underside of the chip contains four rows of pins arranged into four 18 pin DIP arrays, eliminating the need for a custom socket.


Lucent T 7102A Protocol Controller
Westren Electric Integrated Circuits

Devices included in this entry:

Westren Electric 1C parallel to serial interface (16-pin ceramic flat pack; pictured in thumbnail)
Westren Electric 618 APB (16-pin ceramic DIP)

Western Electric manufactured a wide range of obscure and undocumented integrated circuits, many of which featured nondescript packages and a total lack of package-marked part numbers. Like HP, Western Electric IC packages give you nothing, except the vague statement that the device was made by Western Electric. The packages of many Western Electric integrated circuits are so anonymous in appearance that they are frequently misidentified as resistor networks by electronics resellers.


Westren Electric Integrated Circuits
Westren Electric Trimline Controller IC

This bizarre looking hybrid integrated circuit is the controller used in many Western Electric Trimline phone handsets. The device makes use of a rather unusual construction technique in which multiple layers of glass with attached semiconductors and passives are bonded together and coated in resin. Numerous ball bond wires connect the different layers of the integrated circuit electrically. The passive resistors can be clearly seen through the top of the device as tracks of resistive material painted or etched onto the surface of the glass substrate.

Westren Electric Trimline Controller IC

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