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Reverse-engineering a vintage power supply chip from die photos

I recently did a PC power supply teardown so I figured it would be interesting to go deeper and see what happens inside the power supply’s control IC. The die photo below shows the UC3842 chip, which was very popular in older PC power supplies.1 (The chip was introduced in 1984 but this die has a date of 2000.) The tiny silicon die is patterned to create the transistors, resistors and capacitors that make up the circuit. The lighter-colored lines are the metal layer on top of the silicon, forming the chip’s wiring. Around the edges, square pads provide the connections from the die to the IC’s external pins; tiny bond wires connect the pads to the chip’s external pins.”

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