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Reverse engineering the 76477 “Space Invaders” sound effect chip from die photos

Posted on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 in Chips, reversed by DP

pics-die-blocks-600

Ken Shirriff has written an article on reverse engineering the 76477 “Space Invaders” sound effect chip:

Remember the old video game Space Invaders? Some of its sound effects were provided by a chip called the 76477 Complex Sound Generation chip. While the sound effects1 produced by this 1978 chip seem primitive today, it was used in many video games, pinball games. But what’s inside this chip and how does it work internally? By reverse-engineering the chip from die photos, we can find out. (Photos courtesy of Sean Riddle.) In this article, I explain how the analog circuits of this chip works and show how the hundreds of transistors on the silicon die form the circuits of this complex chip.

More details at Ken Shirriff’s blog.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 at 11:14 pm and is filed under Chips, 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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