Saturday, February 18, 2012


I quickly realized that to make this practical before I would need a better microscope and more practice with decapsulation. I have that now so I want to give this a second try. Every Saturday I will attempt to link to a new reasonable resolution die image. Since I already have quite a few this should let me cheat if I get busy while still posting something new. I will try to post chips with a map so that you can view bandwidth friendly high resolution images.

With that said, lets give it a go. I somewhat arbitrarily decided the first chip would be a NVIDIA RIVA 128.

I wasn't that familiar with this chip but apparently its of historical importance as Wikipedia has a full article on it. It lists it as the NV3 chip. NVIDIA is a fabless semiconductor company meaning that they design their chips in house but don't operate any facilities to actually make them. I believe their main fab is TSMC or at least was for some time. However, this chip was probably made by ST as you can see the ST logo in the upper left hand corner:

I didn't realize that ST made chips for other people and maybe they don't do it anymore. I wonder if they helped design it at all or just stuck it on there as a maker's mark? What I find more interesting is that NV's logo isn't on there anywhere.

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