Ring light Sony HVL-RL1

I was thinking about buying ring light for my camera for quite some time - and finally accidentally bought it
Sony HVL-RL1 - is a constantly glowing LED light, not a flashlamp. At ISO100-200 one can shoot without tripod with F7.1-F8. I've seen that previous edition of this lamp had 4 times lower light output - and I think it might have been insufficient.

Sample photo with full ring illumination:

Half ring illumination:

June 19, 2013

Microscope photos of Avalon - specialized Bitcoin processor

Yifu Guo (designer of Avalon) agreed to send me several chips for decapsulation, but while they were slowly traveling around the world - needbmw gave me damaged chip from his Avalon bitcoin mining unit.

Damaged chip itself (fortunately, die itself is not damaged):
This tiny thing does 282 Mhash/s (like AMD 6970 videocard), consuming ~2.5W of power.

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June 10, 2013

Technopolis "Moscow"

Visited Technopolis "Moscow". It is like "Skolkovo" for high-volume manufacturing - it offers lower taxes (0% property tax, 15.5% profit tax instead of 20%), simplified customs bureaucracy and huge area (220'000 m2) left after car manufacturing plant ("Moskvich").

This is how it looked before reconstruction:

June 3, 2013

House mosquito(?) walking on microscope stage

After photo session it was released to the wild - to breath fresh air and eat humans.

May 21, 2013

BarsFA - 4-transistor full adder

For my transistor-computer project (which is already going for 3 years) I needed compact implementations for most of common digital blocks, and full adder - is one of the most important among these.

Canonical implementation of CMOS full adder takes 28 transistors:

Modern implementations using transmission gate and number of tricks reduce this number down to 8-11, with more strict requirements for transistor selection. These schemes usually could not be used with discrete transistors, as they use 4-terminal transistors, and suffer from degradation of logical 1 level, which becomes even more severe with discrete transistors as they have Vt=1.5-2 compared to ~0.5V for integrated transistors.

The smallest full adder I've seen was using 6 transistors and capacitors at inputs - but I am not sure how to make it work reliable in real-world. Known implementation using bipolar transistors - also using 22 transistors.

But can you make it using only 4 transistors? After thinking and trying few variants, i've got the following schematic working:
May 12, 2013

Orange Corsair M90

Now I own True exclusive orange edition of Corsair M90 Initially it was looking like this.

May 10, 2013

1986VE91T: What's inside Russian ARM?

1986VE91T (1986ВЕ91Т in Russian) - is an ARM Cortex-M3 based microcontroller, designed by Russian company Milandr. It has 128 KiB of flash memory, 32 KiB of SRAM, hardware USB and 80Mhz core clock. Manufactured using 180nm technology with aluminum metalization.

As this chip was in ceramic package, no plastic etching was necessary - so all bonding wires are intact. Die size - 6.54x5.9 mm.

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May 2, 2013

Growing copper nano™ crystals

By accident came across process of growing metallic copper crystals.

The technology is the following: put some CuSO4 in a tube, then some NaCl on the top, and add some concentrated solution of NaCl (using distilled water). Then put some iron inside - and wait few days/weeks. Initially, I've tried that with nickel - but it didn't worked. Obviously, tube must be sealed - otherwise solution would just evaporate and everything would be contaminated by NaCl crystals.

I've decided to try 3 variants: without extra salt, with 0.5 thickness of salt, and 1.5.

April 22, 2013