Inside the 74181 ALU chip: die photos and reverse engineering

Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 in reversed by DP


A detailed die photos and reverse engineering of the 74181 ALU chip by Ken Shirriff:

What’s inside a TTL chip? To find out, I opened up a 74181 ALU chip, took high-resolution die photos, and reverse-engineered the chip.1 Inside I found several types of gates, implemented with interesting circuitry and unusual transistors. The 74181 was a popular chip in the 1970s used to perform calculations in the arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) of minicomputers. It is a moderately complex chip containing about 67 gates and 170 transistors3, implemented using fast and popular TTL (transistor-transistor logic) circuitry.

More details at Ken Shirriff’s blog.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 at 3:17 pm and is filed under reversed. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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