Greeting Card / small audio chip?

Attached is a photo of a device used in a toy. When you move the toy at all, a spring wiggles inside of its metal sheath and a sound plays.

Anyone know what kind of IC might be used to store the audio & handle the playback? It must be similar to the kind used in greeting cards. How would one flash the audio file onto it (any special equipment necessary)?

I ask because I keep coming up with ideas that could really benefit from knowing how to do this. For example, I’d like to make 100 of them and put them in a tree so they play a sound when the wind blows. I want each device to be small, low-power, and cheap. If not greeting card components, what other route would work well?

thanks for your advice,



It's hard to tell from the picture if there is likely to be a programming interface or not. Some sound chips include a mask-programmed ROM which cannot be re-programmed or a fuse-programmed PROM which cannot be re-programmed.

If you want to program that particular device you should remove the black goo and check the chip with a microscope to see if it has any identifying marks.

Thanks John.

I found this instructables converstion on the "black goo," which is probably epoxy: "Its there to reduce manufacturing costs. The IS no chip there, just a naked die. Its called "flip-chip" technology. The chip is bonded on tiny solder balls on the PCB, then gloop is applied. AIUI, concentrated formic acid will attack the package, but you won't be able to identify the underlying chip."

Thats ok. I may have come across sounding like I want to use this toy's circuit exactly -- I don't though. I just want to make my own circuit that performs a similar function, and I probably want to make quite a few copies. I want to be able to put my own sounds on there, so I need to be able to program it.

I have access to a board router at school. Mask-programming sounds out of reach, but a fuse-programmed device might work.

What kind of chip should I look for? Anyone know of a keyword that would help in my search? Also if anyone knows what those spring-switches are called...that would be awesome.


links for people referencing in the future:

Mask-programming sounds out of reach,

This can only be used when the chips are being made.

a fuse-programmed device might work.

Yes but these are more expensive and are not used in these types of chips.

A typical sound chip is the Melody Generator M66T-01L (Jingle Bells) but it is not reprogrammable.

Look for: digital sound recorder chip

ChipCorder, made by Nuvoton QuickVoice Digital SOund Chips, made by Eletech

You can get some of these and hack em up to have the right activator ($3 ish in your quantities): They also do pre-recorded units at about a 3rd the price.

I own a company that designs and manufactures musical greeting cards and sound modules. This would be using MTP manufacturing process which cannot be reprogrammed.

brucethehoon did mention one of our modules, but I think the link is broken as it is old. You can view the sound modules we have online here:

All sound modules can be programmed or recorded with your own sound.

If you are interested in 50pcs or more our sales department can sell prerecorded modules programmed with your sound file. These are the same professional quality modules used in retail greeting cards sold in stores (think Hallmark, Calton Cards). It is cheaper then doing it yourself and better quality. More info can be found here:


-- Edgar Davin

Specializing in SOUND, LED, LCD and NFC devices for gifting, crafts, hobby, scrapbooking, and presentation projects.