Friday, January 11, 2013


Everyone's favorite USB-serial adapter. First chip decapped on my new sulfuric-acid process.

The goal of this analysis was to determine for sure whether the FT232R uses a USB microcontroller, perhaps a core from FTDI's Vinculum line. Many competing units such as the MCP2200 do this, but it adds extra complexity and possibly more failure modes.

Chip before decapping

Top metal
The lack of any obvious ROM areas suggest that the FT232R is indeed an ASIC. Major functional blocks: EEPROM (upper left, smaller memory bank), SRAM buffer (upper left, larger memory bank), oscillator and PLL (analog circuitry at upper right), standard logic cell array (at center, most of the chip).

Wiki page:


Saturday, January 5, 2013

New images

Its been a bumpy road getting the microscope back online after camera failure.  However, things are beginning to shape up.  First step in getting running is to clear out the old samples that I've had kicking around decapped but not imaged for a few months.  One of interest is the TI chip with the labels on the pins:

No scale bars on images as I haven't calibrated with the new camera.  More than likely they are very similar to the older objectives though and you should be able to match up with older pictures if you are really curious (appended to files like mitx20x or mit5x).