How-To Geek

A Look Inside a Microchip [Video]

From the vantage point of the human eye, the patterns of a microchip’s surface meld into an indiscernible mass. Under a carefully aimed microscope, however, it’s a world of silicon channels, gates, and transistors.

Courtesy of TheAwesomeManDan, we’re treated to a very closeup look at the surface of an EPROM, the common erasable-programmable read only memory chip found in thousands of electronics the world over. He writes:

A look at an EPROM microchip under a microscope at 100x ( 0:01 ), 400x ( 0:58 ) and 600x ( 2:43 ) magnification. Some amazing detail becomes visible!

A Look Inside a Microchip [YouTube]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/28/13

Comments (12)

  1. Jan Hamer

    Sorry, I only see a lot of very unsharp pictures and hear an irritating sound. I also miss the amazing details.

  2. Doug Isherwood

    Hey Guys.
    EPROM = Electrically Programable Read Only Memory.
    EAROM = Electrically Alterable Read Only Memory.
    It is such a pity the video is of such poor quality as the microscopic view of the inside of a chip is seriously facinating, especially when you get down below 1,000 times mag. One also need to remember that they are made up of many layers.

  3. John R

    I only see a lot of very unsharp pictures and hear an irritating sound too!
    What a waste of 5:28!

  4. James B

    Way back when 27 plus years ago I worked for a company that made a similar device, CCD’s, the forerunner of today’s digital cameras, so this video takes me back there and when we inspected the chips, as they’re called during the process of manufacturing computer chips, we used up to 1,000X which was the only way we could see if the layer we were putting down was aligned properly.
    This is a very good video and I disagree with the comment about the weird music, I think the music is just perfect.

  5. Alex R

    I was just going to wait for the video to buffer, but read here that it was basically more of the same blurry images and irritating sound. You’re right, a good electron scanning microscope image below 1000X is very fascinating!

  6. "gunner"

    and here i thought it was a bunch of teeny little guys running around flipping switches and putting up tiny little post-it notes on walls.

  7. badlaotou

    I really enjoy the video, and the music choice.
    Very well done.

    Thank You

  8. video microscope

    Dynascan is a leading manufacturer and exporter of video microscope in india. video microscope is ideal for video inspection and assembly applications.

  9. Jack

    Thank you. I cannot imagine how we have gotten to where we can make these things.

  10. Ian

    Guys stop downing the video quality and the music and just be grateful that an individual has gone to the effort to record one of these chips under their microscope.
    Sure it could be better but this might be all they have.
    Thank you sir for taking the time to share this with the world!

  11. steambc

    I feel the acting was very wooden. What was the chip’s motivation? I found I just couldn’t relate to the chip during the chase scene.

  12. Robb

    Thanks for taking the time to make the video and for sharing it. It is difficult to focus on all the components in one shot. At 600X there are physical dimensions (up & down) that require micro focusing to see clearly. I think you did a pretty good job. I liked the sound.

    If users need clarification on the differences between: ROM, PROM, EPROM, EAROM, EEPROM –
    start your search at:
    There is a breif summary there.

    to: steambc – awesome, very funny.

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