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general guide to identifying ICs?

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by [email protected], May 25, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    Hi all,
    I'm trying to identify some of the components in an older mp3 player
    .... doing a bit of hardware hacking. I'm having real trouble with a
    couple ICs. I'm wondering if there is a general guide to identifying
    ICs anywhere. I apologize if this has been answered before, but
    searched the group and couldn't find anything other than people
    identifying specific components.

    Generally it seems like most ICs have a 2-3 line label such as (actual
    example from 64 Mb DRAM):

    SAMSUNG 543
    56416 ZHI115DCC

    My naive approach is to go to and simply plug in
    anything that looks to be a model number until I find a datasheet that
    matches or is plausibly similar. However I know that there are some
    "discontiguous" model number correlations, e.g. the 74x components, a
    74LVC04 has the same basic function as a 74HC04.

    Can anyone give me any advice for reading and understanding IC model
    numbers? I'll post the specific IC info if anyone wants to give me
    hints, but I was hoping for some general info as well. Thanks in

    Dan Lenski
  2. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    I don't think there is anything wrong with that, although you can
    speed up your search if you know which numbers are the most likely

    Other good sites are:$$Search?OpenForm
    I think experience helps a lot. Otherwise, if the IC is completely
    unfamiliar, I try to identify the manufacturer or the logo. You can
    sometimes determine who made the IC by going to
    Knowing its function also helps. There will often be a batch code or
    date code, eg YYWW (year and week). In the case of the RAM above, we
    expect that there will be a suffix containing a speed rating, eg 75,
    and a series of digits within the main body that reflect the capacity
    or bus width, eg 64 or 32. If the manufacturer is not evident, then
    the prefix can often help. For example, the "K" is often used by
    Samsung for both analogue and digital ICs.
    Go right ahead. Sometimes posting a photo of the surrounding circuit
    (on your own web space) may also help.

    - Franc Zabkar
  3. Dan Lenski

    Dan Lenski Guest

    Thanks for your useful advice, Franc!

    Here's the specific IC that's given me the most trouble. It's in a small
    fairly small, squarish package with roughly 45 leads on a side. The
    *only* label on the device consists of the following letters:

    980 XDDA250GHH31 EF

    My best guess is that it's some kind of TM*320 digital signal processor,
    simply because I've found all the other important components of this
    device, and I can't find the processor (which other web sites suggest is
    always some TM*320 DSP in the Nomad Jukebox models). But why doesn't it
    have the familiar Texas Instruments label?? Is it some kind of cheap
    knock-off chip? Can anybody tell me anything about this model number?

    Dan Lenski
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