This photographer is delidding chips at home for our enjoyment

It's rare for companies to release actual die shots of their hardware these days, possibly because the keen-eyed can deduce things about a chip that companies might otherwise want to keep a secret. Generally, we have to make do with Chiclet-like block diagrams, and that's certainly been the case with AMD's Polaris and Nvidia's Pascal chips. However, one photographer on Flickr is deliberately destroying a wide variety of chips to show us what lurks underneath the caps and heatspreaders on CPUs, GPUs, and more. Flickr user "Fritzschens Fritz" has even delidded a Radeon RX 470 to show us the actual Polaris 10 die. We salute you for your sacrifice, Fritzschens Fritz.

The Polaris 10 die. Source: Fritzschens Fritz, on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Other prime specimens in Fritz's collection include an Ivy Bridge-EX Xeon, a Matrox Mystique, and more. I could spend the better part of an hour clicking through these, but I'm in the midst of a graphics card review, so I need to tear myself away. Fritz also has a ton of neat infrared photography in his collection, too, so his photostream is well worth a look. Cheers to Cyril Crassin on Twitter for bringing these pics to my attention.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 3 years ago

    Ahh, I remember having the Matrox Mystique, coupled with my Voodoo II. Those were the days.

    What I really need is someone who is making things like the MSI Delid Die Guard and selling them separately before I look into the regular delidding process myself. I have yet to find someone doing Haswell/Broadwell/Skylake shims.

    • dyrdak
    • 3 years ago

    This is more than just delidding – the man is actually picking the silicon off the substrate (with great results). I’ve once delidded Athlon64 only to end up on expedited upgrade path to x2;)
    Now blow up the picture, place on the ceiling and count transistors to fall to sleep.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      I always wanted a large high quality die shot poster. Fermi would be a pretty one, though artificially colored.

      [url<]http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/NVIDIA-Releases-GeForce-GT-730M-and-710M-GPUs-2.jpg[/url<]

        • LoneWolf15
        • 3 years ago

        Would you accept a key ring?

        (note: only available on eBay now AFAIK):
        [url<]http://hexus.net/tech/news/graphics/18059-nvidia-immortalise-g98-gpu-inside-keychain/[/url<]

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          Hah, I punched a hole in an Athlon XP 1800 way back when and made it into a keychain almost like that!

    • synthtel2
    • 3 years ago

    Comparing the shots of Polaris 10 to GK110 and GF110 is fascinating. Nvidia and AMD look to have some major differences in layout strategies.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      For the lazy. Nvidia has that cross bar in the middle that I think is L2 cache, AMDs looks more distributed/less centralized.

      [url<]https://www.flickr.com/photos/130561288@N04/28536864950/[/url<] [url<]https://www.flickr.com/photos/130561288@N04/26914834393/[/url<]

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        Also, look at the gaps around edges of functional units. Nvidia uses some seriously beefy wiring wherever it’ll fit between functional units, while Polaris 10 CUs aren’t a very good shape for internal efficiency, but are built to be more integrated with their wiring.

        P.S. I’m very curious what Pascal looks like, since more recent stuff has more and smaller SMs.

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    Polaris? My god, [url=https://youtu.be/xFzRiGXp2ao<]it's full of stars![/url<]

    • cphite
    • 3 years ago

    Now that I have these photos I can make one in my garage!

    • CScottG
    • 3 years ago

    Wow, I really have to read these titles more closely. I read it as:

    “This photographer is diddling chips at home for our enjoyment.”

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      “Mr Photographer, please have a seat over here”

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      He was seduced by that silicon. “Draw me like one of your French girls.”

      • Platedslicer
      • 3 years ago

      Just… no.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    I daresay this guy needs a Nintendo NX when it comes out 😛

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      Isn’t it just going to be a Tegra (probably X2)?

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Tegra and supposedly Pascal based, but that doesn’t tell us what configurations and customizations Nintendo could have chosen. They could always be weird with it like the Wii U, they have a long history of licensing tech and then customizing it. And they never say the specs outright.

        I’d definitely love to chew into that die shot.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I wanna see what Skylake and Haswell really look like. None of those fake die shots.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Purdy. I love deliddings

    [url<]https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7528/28536864950_5b5305f792_k.jpg[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Good grief this Fritters guy must either print cash or skip lunch everyday.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Fritz? Hmm, isn’t he the Russian guy with the insane CPU collection?

    [url<]http://www.themarysue.com/cpu-collection-russia/[/url<]

    • Concupiscence
    • 3 years ago

    Oh my God, a Matrox Mystique. I daresay that shot’s better than the hardware ever deserved.

      • nanoflower
      • 3 years ago

      For the time when it came out it wasn’t a horrible card. I got some good use out of mine.

        • MOSFET
        • 3 years ago

        Oddly I was just reminiscing about my Mystique yesterday.

        (Btw, TR, the video ads are just [i<]killing[/i<] Chrome today. Noticed no slowdowns yesterday or before.)

        • Concupiscence
        • 3 years ago

        I had one, too. The 2D was amazing at the price point, and for DirectX 5 games the 3D speed wasn’t too far behind the Voodoo1. It just lacked support for fogging, bilinear filtering, or hardware transparency, so on a good day titles just looked like a turbo-charged 16-bit renderer, and on bad days they had minor to moderate graphical artifacting if they’d run at all.

          • tay
          • 3 years ago

          I had one too – it sucked for the reasons you’ve outlined. I didn’t like it for Quake II

            • Concupiscence
            • 3 years ago

            It didn’t formally have OpenGL support, but at some point I managed to get Scitech’s GLDirect up and running. With Quake II it was [i<]sort of OK.[/i<] There were also some reports that the S3 ViRGE's miniGL driver was really a vendor-agnostic, bone-stupid Direct3D wrapper. I can't say I ever got curious enough to see whether that was true. That said, the Mystique paired pretty well with a Voodoo1 in a Cyrix 6x86 PR200+ box, which ran for years with no issues. When I built its replacement - an Athlon 500 with a Voodoo3 - for college, I was blown away.

          • LoneWolf15
          • 3 years ago

          That’s why it was considered the best in tandem with a Voodoo 1 or 2. Best 2D and 3D performance –it was actually faster than the Millennium in some ways.

    • anotherengineer
    • 3 years ago

    Nice card shot of the sapphire.

    [url<]https://www.flickr.com/photos/130561288@N04/28186271533/in/album-72157650403404920/[/url<]

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    The next time you go onto Newegg and can’t buy an Rx 480, just remember what Fritz did.

    [Insert vague allusion to eating all your broccoli because kids are starving in China reference here]

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Great. Jeff is on the Fritz again.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Time to take that lid off again and show him how you do it, Chuck.

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        I just do it for cooling, not to kill the chip.

        [quote<]He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.[/quote<] -- Gandalf

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This