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Sometimes shining a light on a nuclear problem just makes things worse

IJD

Reverse case -- the first silicon of first chip I ever designed (an echo canceller for ISDN) didn't work. Looking down a microscope at it to see if I could see anything wrong (suspect was a comparator inside an ADC) as I moved the chip around on the stage it suddenly started to work. Turned out the problem was offset voltage in the comparator, the light from the microscope injected photocarriers into the input stage which cancelled this out so long as you looked at it *just* right -- you had to within a few microns of the "sweet spot", which was in a different place for each chip...

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