Odd IC identification

I ordered some crap on eBay and the seller included extra ICs. I've never see anything like it before.
What are they? Any information would be helpful.
Posted in Bar Sport because it's not really an Arduino question until I figure out what they are.

They are NOT ic's. Looks like devices from the 1960's that have been removed from equipment. Likely some type of telephone central office equipment.

Normal ceramic packaging IC's from the 1970's look like this: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/12-vintage-70s-mostek-white-ceramic-525244890

This might be custom made, and if it is not an IC, then it does not show up in any old list of IC's.

A picture search did not help. There are many things from before the internet that have no picture online :cry:

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The black squares remind me on old IBM PCBs with e.g. 4 separate transistors under a metal cap. Thick film modules on a multi-layer ceramic substrate have been in use since the mid 60s, I had to do with their components and testing as a school boy in those days.

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Hmmm, how to test?
Anyone have a good guide that I can read on how to test it with a DMM and a transistor tester?
Purely academic persuit, of course.

Deciphering may be possible with modules of e.g. 6 pins. A transistor tester may allow to find pins connected by linear (resistive) or non-linear (diodes...) components, but what will help that? How can you know whether it's a digital or analog circuit, what's input and what's output, where to apply how much operating voltage...

I don't know what they are, but I don't want to be around when they eventually hatch.


It appear to be some sort of hybrid on a ceramic substrate as per post #4. There are clearly components on the bottom covered by epoxy or some such and the black squares on top might be covers over cutouts in the ceramic substrate for some sort of bare chip.

If it were mine, I'd be tempted to chip or grind off the presumed covers and/or the epoxy coating to see what's underneath. Particularly since it has no known value as it stands so there's no great loss in destroying it.

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Tektronics experimented with such devices back in the 1960's.

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Indeed, dissection sounds like fun.
The epoxy sounds like the best place to start.
Perhaps a soak in paint thinner, followed by denatured alcohol and a careful scrape with a 1/4" chisel.

Could they be early EPROMs? The eight black squares could be covering (8*) UV erasable 1 bit wide Eproms. The printed numbers may refer to the code stored on them.

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If you have a friend who is a radiologist or dentist you might be able to get an x-ray. :slight_smile:

What are they covered in? Heatshrink? Epoxy?

I agree with @Henry_Best, my thought is EPROMS, though 949B is a weird amount of data to hold.

At that time a machine word size was not restricted to a multiple of 8 bits.

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Still weird.

I'm going to take a heat gun to one this evening. Starting at about 100C to see if I can loosen the epoxy. It's rubbery to the touch at room temp and I was able to scrape some off to reveal a bunch of gold traces and one of the large components appears to be a SMD resistor.

Also, turns out that I have 4, not just two.

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Wondering if it's a PCB covered in epoxy to create some kind of frankenstein's-monster DIP package IC.

EDIT - The roman numerals are equal to 1008 by the way.

SMD resistors or capacitors aren't suggestive of ancient technology. On the other hand the through hole pin out for the package suggests it isn't all that recent either. So maybe 80s or 90s vintage, and probably something with low production numbers.

This was done without heat last night.

I will finish it with heat tonight.


Gold traces is VERY expensive, so the thing was built for high reliability where cost was not an issue. I still suspect telephone switching or military computer or something similar.

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