What’s inside a microchip ?

What’s inside a microchip ?


Microchips are advanced electronic devices,
comprising a dense network of microscopic semiconductors, built in layers on a thin
wafer of semiconducting material – usually silicon.
These tiny circuits are normally hidden from view, but there are certain exceptions where
we’re allowed a peek inside at the surface layer of a microchips silicon die. And what
we’re able to see when we do is truly remarkable. What I’ll attempt to do in this video is to
take you on a brief tour of the visible internal workings of a microchip, and explain as best
I can the parts I’m showing you and how they work. So here’s an example of a chip…
And here’s a far more sensible one. This one’s EPROM, or EROM flavour, which stands
for ‘Erasable (Programmable) Read Only Memory’ and these chips serve to provide an operational
code or firmware to a system. It’s designed to be programmed once in manufacture,
and can be erased only by shining an ultraviolet light onto the silicon through this quartz
glass window. And you can see that window, rather conveniently, allows us to very easily
see inside, and get a look at the surface layer of the silicon.
So let’s have a look at it under an optical microscope. At just 100x magnification, there isn’t all
that much detail visible, but we can see the majority of the main parts. These two large seemingly blank areas are
called the memory blocks, and can contain billions of tiny transistors, which each store
a bit of data. This particular chip is a 27C512 from ST Microelectronics
which can store 512Kbits of data, so will contain at least 512,000 of these transistors,
each serving to store either a 1 or a 0, by switching on or off respectively.
Upping the magnification a bit you might just be able to make out a regular pattern of the
transistors. This is around 800x magnification, so you
can get an idea of just how small these really are.
I’d need well over double this to see any reasonable detail in the individual transistors.
I could get it, by switching in this third objective lens, but because the silicon is
set deep inside the package, in order to focus on it this lens would have to be so close
that it would just obscure all the the incoming light and we wouldn’t be able to see a thing.
As usual, nothing’s perfect. Around the memory blocks we find the supporting
circuitry. This is used to interface between the thousands of transistors in the memory
blocks and the external circuitry away from the chip through only the 28 pins on this
package. It would be highly impractical to have one pin dedicated to each transistor
– that would require over half a million pins on the package which for obvious reasons can’t
be done – so this circuitry does something convoluted to connect all these transistors
in such a way that they can all be accessed through these few pins.
I’m not sure quite how this one does it, it probably has some form of addressing system,
whereby it connects a small number of the transistors containing the required data to
the output, as and when they need to be accessed, based upon some form of inputted address. There’s some sort of identification code
there ‘M752’. No idea what that’s for, I can’t find any data on it. Unfortunately that’s
the closest we come to seeing any form of chip art on this one, not very imaginative really. Further to the extremities of the silicon
we find the output buffer amplifiers, which interface the high output impedance of the
silicon circuitry and the low input impedance of the external circuitry. This prevents the
external circuity from loading the silicon circuits and interfering with their operation.
This is similar in concept to just a unity gain op-amp, operating as a voltage follower. Off to the sides here we can see the bonding
wires connecting the silicon with the pins on the package – there are 30 of them, presumably
a couple are paired up for current carrying capability (good alliteration there, actually
that reminds me of another one of my videos with a lot of alliteration, anyway, I’ve gone
a bit off on a bit of a tangent there.) Yep, there’s a pair… and there’s another.
Those will probably the vcc and ground. These wires are all made of silver, which
is the best conductor of electricity, and it seems as though they’ve just been pressed
onto the pads on the silicon die, i’m not sure whether it’s actually resistance welded
maybe, but somehow they’ve been affixed to make an electrical connection.
There’s nothing else in this package, it’s just the die in the middle there and the bonding
wires which go off to the pins, so there’s a lot of wasted space in these things. It’s incredible to think that we can do this
really, this is only a small ROM device. This is nothing compared to modern microprocessors.
And this is just the top layer that we can see – there’s more going on underneath that
we can’t. It’s very extensive, and it’s amazing to see how much things have changed in electronics.
Electronics with IC’s has very little, personality now. It’s all hidden away and disposable.
It’s ‘integrated’. And it is convenient and robust, but it just lacks something that doing
it all with individual components has. A certain finesse.
If I need a single logic gate in a circuit, I’ll still do it with a pair of transistors,
just because I think it’s nicer than plonking in an anonymous DIP to do it all for you.
It might be easier to just use a 4000 series gate, but my electronics work is very important
to me and sometimes I just prefer to do it myself, rather than use an off the shelf part
that’s been designed to do it all for me. That’s not to say ICs are bad – they do their
job very well and I will use them where I need the convenience – but it’s nice to still
have a little control over some things. Now, I don’t specialise in this area so I can’t
guarantee that everything I know is exactly correct, and this has been a simplified overview
at best; if you know a bit about these devices and you’re sitting there thinking
that I’m spouting absolute nonsense, please let me know in the comments. I can put annotations
on to correct myself, I can add bits in, and it helps me learn too! So thank you for your time, I hope you’ve
learnt something from this and not found it too tedious. If there’s anything else you’d
like to know, leave me a comment and I’ll try my best to answer it. Thanks for watching – hopefully see you in
the next one!

100 thoughts to “What’s inside a microchip ?”

  1. Interesting thing is that those transistors are not put there one by one as we would expect.
    Instead they are being created by chemical reactions and layers upon layers of different chemicals that make up the transistor.
    But even considering the actual "somewhat" simplicity of millions of transistors creation process, the process of getting them connected to outer pins and all the internal traces and elements is more interesting.

  2. Thanks for making this video. I can't believe I haven't seen it before. You've helped me eventually understand these things to a small degree. 😀

  3. The first chip I opened was a 486 dx2 mx . I used a spatula and the stove burner to desolder the back plate very cool looked like a micro mother board with tiny gold filament wires. Was ceramic. Anywayss…

  4. Its not resistive welding its ultrasonic welding done by vibrating the wire very fast while in contact with the chip thus making it very hot and melting it and bonding the wire .

  5. I read somewhere that there are ICs that can be used to control atomic reactors. I believe they are called 'Fission Chips' . . .

  6. The people who disliked this video are Ancient Home Sapience who are still living in Caves of Amazon and Elora. 2 minutes silence for those. Peace.

  7. Can’t store date in transistors, they are switches, u can “store” a path of logic in them, but to actually store 1’s and 0’s u need capacitors charged or not.

  8. finally after many many years of curiosity,, today i came to see something practical and understanding ,,,, thank you so much man
    i wish if i could see it more clearly and deeply

  9. Bro you need to delete this video and re upload it without the sound of you eating the chip bro shit made me want to throw my phone

  10. I just learnt about flip-flops, that can contains data, till i see this '-' dude the middle thingy is a flip flop like transistor

  11. Its kinda crazy that all our games and applications are just electrical signals flashing on and off in a physical chip

  12. First thing i would do if I owned one of those microscopes I would bust a nut and see if I can see my children 💀👌🏽

  13. Apparently M752 is just a stand in for ST microelectronics 512k EPROM

    https://resnicklab.wordpress.com/tag/eprom/

  14. What sort of diameter or gauge are those near-microscopic filament wires which interface the main pins and the silicon inside the package?

  15. I don’t understand how they can be manufactured when they are that microscopic. It’s like asking what came first the chicken or the egg, someone pls explain I have a lot to learn.

  16. This is part of the technology discovered when UFO'S crash land on earth. I can imagine a human species could ever come up with this idea let alone the need to make it so small .Alians exist lol

  17. I expect you to show us about CPU central processing unit. Details of how circuit build in processor like voltage in and out, anode cathode transistor. In Intel core processor LGA 2066 ARE internally how they are connected each other inside. Can you please show us how dose it works.

  18. Would a new optic/current power dual seated based chip be possible. You have light coming into switch via crystalline path. The switch (moving part) has separate metallic line power ready to go always, thus creating magnetic shape for the trigger/part which moves.
    The light hits a stagnant malleable nano atomic arrangement and trips atoms into magnetic shape/form to help move switch toward or away (closed1 or open0 – so two paths in, light can make stagnant malleable nano atomic arrangement +ve from one path or -ve form the other). Stating again, this light provides power to gate fixed (however is malleably magnetic both to -ve or +ve) part, and the movable switch part has separate power to have constant magnetic shape. The switch becomes magnetic along with the stagnant part to be attracted or repel. But could be manipulated with better knowledge. Thus you could have gate with the two possible switch polarities, two inputs and the one output???

    So two ways in to switch and light trips on or off (unless already that way tripped). Then one path to exit, for if switch is on the power to the switch and light coming in is enough to transform electrical into light, somehow, and sends a constant light beam to the registrar for that information's use??

    I really know little about not much here but it could work one day or similar or give somebody an idea. Problem. How to send a 1 or zero to the switch first to get switch to open or close. Is there a way to do this?? Does the light simply make it's way in from the optic cable, through the right gate and onto the switch??

  19. OK.. Chicken or the egg time.. Right.. What makes the chips ? A machine, controlled by chips, so how did they make the machine, controlled by chips. That makes the chips.. Aggh brain freeze..

  20. how does the circuit in a microchip do connect all these transistors in such a way that they can all be accessed through few pins ….

  21. Do you mind re-shooting this but use an EPROM based microcontroller? This way both storage cells and other types of logic can be seen and introduced.

  22. Genesis 2:15
    The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
    Which means we were given earth by God and we need to do our best to protect it. The more people worry about money and expanding their own business the more the earth gets destroyed. Imagine someone let u borrow their phone and u smashed it, they wouldn’t feel to happy they gave u their phone. Thats what we are doing to God’s earth He gave gave us. In the end everything still belongs to God, it even says this in
    Jeremiah 2:7
    And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.
    At the end of the world (which is very soon as said in John 5 28-29
    “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”) money and things won’t matter what will matter is our loyalty to Jesus Christ and that we have Him in our hearts.

    ‭‭If you feel like you have come a long way in your walk with Jesus Christ and are ready to take give your life to Jesus Christ 👉https://www.ransomedheart.com/prayer/savior👌
    Also don’t be afraid to share and remember nothing can stop you when God is with you.

    Remember pray at ALL times for anything God is listening!

    GOD IS GOOD!! HE IS RISEN!! HE DIED FOR UR SINS SO U DONT HAVE TO!!!!

    Fun fact: The hottest planet in our solar system is Venus!? At 450 degrees C or 840 degrees F

  23. 4:58 wrong. no silver found here.

    1. most used materials are gold with 1% platinum to make them hold. pure gold appears to lose bond, the pollution of gold with platinum gives it a sticky touch.
    2. an aluminium-silicone mix – mostly 1% silicone pollution – can also be used for bond wires.
    3. also used in history: copper, there's much problem with heat development and can damage chip circuits. It's rarely used in micro chips.

    the best conductor is gold. I think the seen ones are AlSi, but the silver color doesn't mean, it really is. the more pollution, the more clean the color of gold.

    AuPt bonds are a better conductor than AlSi, but it often needs a flaming process, AlSi is easier to bond and produce.

    I work with these every day 🙂

  24. if you can explain the Manufacture of microchip& and their machinery
    What kind of machine to use for the manufacture of chip it will be big help for me
    Thank you
    Your subscriber

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *