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Cyrix Integrated Circuits

Fasmath 83S87 Math Coprocessor

The digital image presented below reveals surface details present on a Cyrix Fasmath 83S87 math coprocessor die (representing the complete integrated circuit). Busses, registers, and memory cache units were highlighted using oblique illumination with red, green, and yellow filters coupled to fiber optics light pipes and a tungsten-halogen source.

Fasmath 83S87 Math Coprocessor

Cyrix introduced the Fasmath coprocessor in 1989 with an initial clock frequency of 16 megahertz, but later upgraded the speed to include 20, 25, 33, and 40 megahertz versions. The chip is compatible with the Intel x87 coprocessors with regards to the instruction set and pin locations, making it a viable competitor with Intel math chips in the older 80x86 (XT, AT, and 386) microprocessor machines.

The microscope utilized to capture the complete coprocessor die was operated in reflected light mode with differential interference contrast (DIC) optics and a first-order retardation plate. Eight individual sections of the die were photographed and mapped together to form a composite image of the entire integrated circuit.


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