How to identify an unknown IC - SSD case study

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How to identify an unknown IC - SSD case study

Postby fzabkar » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:54 am

How to identify an unknown IC - SSD case study

ICs will be marked with one or more of the following:

    manufacturer's logo
    part number
    date code
    RoHS marks
    version numbers (eg ROMs, EEPROMs, CPUs with embedded code)
    country of manufacture
It is not always easy to differentiate the various markings, especially on smaller surface mounted components. Part numbers will often be abbreviated, so this makes it even more difficult to identify them.

Date codes are most often in YWW, YYWW, WWYY, or WWY format, where W = work week and Y = year of manufacture. Sometimes the manufacturers will use more cryptic coding, especially for small devices.

Whatever the format, you can often get some clues from the markings on the other ICs. Comparisons with similar PCBs can often be useful, especially when identifying date codes. Often the only difference between two identical ICs will be in their dates of manufacture.

A good source for comparisons with other PCBs is Google Images, eg ... ... o&tbm=isch

In the attached photo clips there is a small component near the bottom right corner of the Marvell controller. Its external support components (2 capacitors plus 1 resistor) suggest that it may be crystal.

D250A_1016.jpg (10.13 KiB) Viewed 1793 times
D251M_1135.jpg (27.65 KiB) Viewed 1793 times

D250L_1051.jpg (33.97 KiB) Viewed 1793 times
D251M_1140.jpg (30.65 KiB) Viewed 1793 times

crystal_RC.jpg (10.29 KiB) Viewed 1793 times

If we examine the MCUs, we can see the Marvell logo and the "88SS9174-BLD2" part number.

"TW" suggests that the parts were made in Taiwan.

The first 4 digits on the third line appear to be a YYWW date code.

Code: Select all

MCU date code           Crystal marking

YYWW                    D25 + Y + W

1140                    D251M
1135                    D251M
1051                    D250L
1016                    D250A

A comparison of the two sets of markings suggests that "D25" may be an abbreviated part number or part code for a 25MHz crystal.

The "1" and "0" probably tells us that the parts were manufactured in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

The last character (M, L, A) is probably the work week.

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Re: How to identify an unknown IC - SSD case study

Postby Spildit » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:30 pm

Thanks for sharing.
As always very useful information.
Thanks for your contribution to the forum.
Really, a big thank you for everything.
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Marvell MCU serial number?

Postby fzabkar » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:47 pm

Thanks for the encouragement.

I was curious about the second line on the Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 MCU. After more Google Image searching, ISTM that the characters are unique to each MCU, and they appear to be ordered alphanumerically by date. Therefore I believe they represent a serial number.

Code: Select all

serial num   YYWW

P3T0370.6    1051
P4R3500.5    1052
PBG7960.5    1135
PBK4840.3    1140
PFS7860.1    1151
PFS7870A.4   1151
PFS7880B.2   1151
PFU2800.5    1152
PFU2810A.1   1153
PFU2810A.3   1153
PFU2840.2    1153
PFV6570.2    1202
PGC7120A.3   1207
PGH1030.4    1211

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