June 12th, 2014 ~ by admin

Early Unfinished Ceramic DIP Package

Package 22 CDIP inFrameMost all IC manufacturers do not make their own packaging.  Raw packages are purchased form package suppliers such as Kyocera and NGK (among many others).  The die is installed, bonded, wired, and tested, and then shipped.  This is an early unfinished 22 pin white ceramic DIP.  This is typical construction from the 1960’s and 1970’s.  The package is supplied as a flat, with the leads straight out and unbent.  All the leads are connected by the ‘lead frame’.  The lead frame keeps the leads straight during die placement and handling.  Only once the die is installed, and the bonding wires connected are the leads (soon to be pins) cut free from the lead frame.   The bottom of the die cavity is connected to the ground pin, and the die is affixed to the package with a conductive resin.  Typically one of the pads on the top of the die will also be connected to the same ground pin.

After the die is affixed and wired, the device is tested and the leads are bent to form a standard DIP package.  In some cases the leads are left unbent and the package becomes a type of surface mount package.  A cap is soldered (or s0metimes brazed) over the die cavity, markings applied and then the device is ready to ship.

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CPU of the Day

January 17th, 2014 ~ by admin

Zilog Packaging Marketing Kit

Zilog Packages available in 1985

Zilog Packages available in 1985

Last week we showed you an educational kit from Zilog showing the process involved in making and assembling a Z80 processor, from polished wafer to packaging.  Zilog also made a kit for marketing the various packages used.  This kit contains a shrink DIP 64 pin socket, a shrink DIP 64pin package, a 48 pin DIP and 40 pin DIP, all the common packages used at the time.

Zilog Packages - Z8 Z80 Z800 and Z8000

Zilog Packages – Z8 Z80 Z800 and Z8000

At the time is a little hard to track down as no date is provided with this kit.  We can get very close though looking at the back where Zilog lists which devices are available in these packages.  The usual Z80 and Z8000 series are both there as well as the Z8 microcontroller family.  The one odd-ball is the Zilog Z800.  The Z800 was an upgraded Z80 released in 1985, adding on chip cache an MMU and a vastly expanded instruction set (over 2000 instruction/addressing modes).  It was wholly unsuccessful partly do to bad marketing by Zilog, and partly because it did more then it needed to. It never entered mass production, and by 1986 Zilog has redesigned it, converted the design to CMOS (from NMOS) and released it as the Z280 which met the same fate as the Z800.  It seemed that making an overly complicated Z80 wasn’t what the market wanted.  THe Z180 (designed by Hitachi) and the Zilog eZ80 (released in 2001), have enjoyed much wider success, mainly because they kept closer to the simplicity of the original Z80.

So when was this kit put together? Likely 1985, as the Z800 was nly talked about for a few months before quietly being put away.