555 timer teardown: inside the world's most popular IC

If you’ve played around with electronic circuits, you probably know[1] the 555 timer integrated circuit, said to be the world’s best-selling integrated circuit with billions sold. Designed by analog IC wizard Hans Camenzind[2] in 1970, the 555 has been called one of the greatest chips of all time with whole books devoted to 555 timer circuits. Given the popularity of the 555 timer, I thought it would be interesting to find out what’s inside the 555 timer and how it works. While the 555 timer is usually sold as a black plastic IC, it is also available in a metal can, which can be cut open with a hacksaw[3] revealing the tiny die inside.”

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