Many people go throughout their every day lives receiving countless benefits from electronics without much knowledge of what’s inside of them or how they work. This article by Ken Shirrif does a great job of breaking down one of history’s most notable ICs, the 741 op amp.
An op amp can be found in cell phones, power adapters and amplifiers though they may look much different than the pictures taken of this old-school IC. First Ken had to find a way inside of the circuit and so as a solution he hit his tool bench and found the hack saw. Once inside he saw that the wires sticking out from the bottom of the component are connected to a complex looking circuit board by fragile little wires. Taking this circuit board and putting it under his metallurgical microscope showed him everything he wanted to know about the circuit’s design. To the untrained eye it may look like a confusing mess but Ken helps us identify exactly what components serve what functions.
He even goes so far as to provide an interactive image that the reader can use to pick out different parts of the circuit that they would like to learn more about.
To read more on the 741 op amp and Ken’s tear down of the component and it’s parts, click here – https://blog.adafruit.com/2015/11/10/understanding-silicon-circuits-inside-the-ubiquitous-741-op-amp/