Chip Tester Professional (English)

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The chip tester was developed to test „old“ memory chips from the 1970s and 1980s, which are often no longer recognized by today’s programming devices. It is often recommended to use chips in the same device to test the functionality. It is forgotten that the rest of the hardware is also correspondingly old and frequent switching on and off can provoke further errors.

An ideal memory tester should of course regognize

  • Defective memory cells,,
  • Timing errors due to material fatigue (e.g. with DRAMs) and
  • Incorrect signal levels due to material fatigue.

Unfortunately, such a tester cannot be produced at an acceptable price, a real tester will always be a compromise between the detection rate of defective chips and the price (who would spend several hundred Euros for a tester, that tests a few over 40 years old chips).

The Chip Tester Professional is able to identify defective memory cells very reliably. A memory card can even be used to precisely determine the defective memory cells. Exact timing tests are only possible to a limited extent and do not make much sense for the intended purpose. Just because a chip falls short of the specification by 5 ns after 40 years does not mean that it is automatically defective and may possibly be used for many more years if the memory cells themselves are OK.

For questions about the tester, I can be reached via the contact form, but also in various forums, such as the Support-Forum des 8Bit-Museum.de (online since mid-September).

If you are interested, I am happy to give you boards pre-assembled with the ATmega2560 at cost price (⇒contact form).

Instructions and compatibility lists

Anleitung Rev.1 (Deutsch)
Manual Rev.1 (English)
Übersicht DRAMs / Overview DRAMs
Übersicht SRAMs / Overview SRAMs
Übersicht ROMs, PROMs, etc. / Overview ROMs, PROMs, etc
Übersicht Logic ICs / Overview Logic ICs

Video about the Chip Tester Professional (Rev.1)

The Rev.1 of the completely revised chip tester (formerly „SRAM/DRAM memory tester“) does not longer use the switches which were present in Rev.8. This eliminates the need to set the correct supply voltage, but the complexity of the board increases from just under 60 to over 200 components, nevertheless it has become a little more compact.

The following video shows the basic functions:

YouTube: Introduction Chip Tester Professional Rev.1

The firmware has since been expanded considerably. Added among other things, the possibility of reading out protected PALs and GALs (under certain conditions). Lots of new chips are supported and the internal databases are expanded.

Supported memory components (SRAMs and DRAMs)

The following (and pin-compatible) SRAMs can be tested:

16×1: 7481, 7484, K155RU1, …
16×4: D3101, 7489, 74189, 74219, …
64×9: 82S09, 93419, …
128×8: 6810, …
256×1: 8216, 2116, 8217, 2700, 2701, 3106, 3107 …
256×1: 93410, K155RU5, …
256×4: D2101A, D2111, D2112A, 74921, …
256×8: 81C50, 81C51, 82S08
256×9: 82S10, 82S12
1k x 1: 2102, 8102, 2115, 2511, …
1k x 4: 2114, 2148, 2149, 4045, 5114, 6514, C214, U224, …
1k x 4: 6550
1k x 8: 4118, 4801, 8185, …
2k x 8: 2016, 2416, 4016, 4802, 4812, 6116, 6512, …
4k x 1: 2147, MK4104, …
4k x 4: 7C168, 6168, 5416, P4C168, P4C169, …
8k x 8: 2064, 2464, 6264, 2465, …
16k x 1: 8167, 6267, 6167, 2167, P4C167, …
16k x 4: P4C188, P4C198, …
32k x 8: 20256, 61256, 62256, 71256, …
64k x 1: P4C187, …
64k x 4: P4C1258, P4C1281, P4C1298, …
64k x 8: 61512, 24512
128k x 8: 621024, 431000
256k x 1: P4C1257, …
256k x 4: P4C1026, …

and these (and pin-compatible) DRAMs:

4k x 1: 2104A, 4015, 4027, 7027, 2107, …
8k x 1: 4108-x0, 4108-x1, 2108H, 2108L
16k x 1: 4116, 2117, 6116, 8116, 416, 2116, 3716, U256, …
16k x 1: 2118, K565RU6, …
16k x 4: 4416, 2620
32k x 1: 3732H (4532-L4) und 3732L (4532-L3), 4532
64k x 1: 4164, 2600, K565RU5, 8264, 3764, …
64k x 4: 4464, 41464, 50464, …
256k x 1: 41256, 53256, 81256, MT1259, …
256k x 4: 44256, 514256, …
1024k x 1: 41024, 411000, …
256k x 8: SIMM und SIPP
1024k x 8: SIMM und SIPP

Comparison lists with the supported memory chips can be downloaded above.

SIMM/SIPP modules

In addition, 30-pin SIMM and SIPP modules (via a simple adapter) can be tested.

Since the test is quite slow, only 256k x 8 (256 kByte) and 1024k x 8 (1 MByte) modules are currently supported. Should there be demand, 4 Mbytes and 16 Mbytes could also be implemented in the future.

Memory modules with parity bit can also be tested.

Bipolar SRAMs 7481 und 7484

The bipolar SRAMs 7481 and 7484 (16 bit) can also be tested with the usage of an adapter.

The adapter for these chips is a little more complex, but it can be built inexpensively due to the simple components.

This memory is so small that it could be tested manually on a breadboard if necessary, but the Chip Tester is much faster.

ZIP RAM

An adapter for ZIP RAM is currently being tested. ZIP RAM was only manufactured for a short time and is e.g. been used in the Amiga 3000.

This memory can be tested in sizes 256k x 4, 1024k x 1 and 1024k x 4.

 

 

EPROM Intel 1702

An adapter for the Intel 1702 EPROM (256 x 8) is also currently tested.

A special feature of this memory chip is a supply voltage of +5V and -9V.

 

 

Supported memory modules (EPROMs and (P)ROMs)

The firmware also allows the identification of over 2400 (E)(P)ROMs (e.g. from Commodore, Sinclair and other manufacturers). The following chips are supported:

(P)ROM: 2308, 2316, 2332, 2364, 23128, 23256, 23512, 231000/231001, 232000, 234000, 6540
EPROM: 2704, 2708, 2716, TMS2716, 2732, 2764, 27128, 27256, 27512, 271001, 272001, 274001
bipolare (P)ROM: 7488, 188, 288, 187, 287, 387, S271, S371, 470, 471, S270, S370, 570, 571, 472, 473, 476, 477, 572, 573, S450, S451, 82S23, 82S123, 82S126, 82S129, 93426, 93427, K155PE23, HM-7648, HM-7649 (nicht getestet)

If you connect an inexpensive micro SD card adapter to the Chip Tester, the contents of the memory modules can also be saved on an SD card. A binary file is created with the contents of the memory chip. If the ROM is known, a text file with the known information is also created.

Supported logic modules (TTL and CMOS)

It is also possible to test logic modules. The following modules are currently implemented (not all have been tested so far):

7400, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 Pos 4, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 58, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 73 Pos 5, 74, 75 Pos 4, 76 Pos 4, 85, 86, 90 Pos 4, 92 Pos 4, 93 Pos 4, 95, 107, 109, 112, 113, 114, 123, 125, 126, 128, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141 Pos 4, 145, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 168, 169, 170, 173, 174, 175, 180, 181, 182, 183, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 237, 238, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 251, 253, 257, 258, 259, 260, 265, 266, 280, 283, 292, 293, 294, 298, 299, 365, 366, 367, 368, 373, 374, 375, 377, 378, 386, 390, 393, 425, 426, 445, 465, 466, 467, 468, 521, 540, 541, 573, 589, 595, 597, 640, 641, 642, 644, 645, 670, 688

4000, 01, 02, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48, 49 Pos 9, 50 Pos 9, 51, 52, 53, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 81, 82, 93, 94, 99, 101, 106, 161, 162, 174, 175, 192, 193

4501, 02, 03, 06, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 29, 32, 43, 55, 56, 72, 84

DL000, 002, 003, 004, 008, 010, 011, 014, 020, 021, 030, 032, 037, 038, 040, 051, 074, 086, 090, 093, 112, 123, 132, 155, 164, 175, 192, 193, 194, 251, 253, 257, 259, 374, 540, 541, 299

153-555: AG3, AP3, AP4, AP5, AP6, AP9, AP14, AP15, ID3, ID4, ID5, ID6, ID7, ID10, ID14, ID18, IE2 Pos 4, IE4 Pos 4, IE5 Pos 4, IE6, IE7, IE9, IE10, IE11, IE12, IE13, IE16, IE17, IE18, IE19, IM5, IM6, IP2, IP3, IP4, IP5, IP6, IP7, IR1, IR8, IR9, IR10, IR11, IR12, IR15, IR22, IR23, IR24, IR26, IR27, IR30, IR32, IR33, IV1, IV3, KP1, KP2, KP5, KP7, KP11, KP12, KP13, KP14, KP15, KP16, KP18, LA1, LA2, LA3, LA4, LA6, LA7, LA8, LA9, LA10, LA11, LA12, LA13, LA16, LA19, LE1, LE2, LE3, LE4, LE5, LE7, LE11, LI1, LI2, LI3, LI4, LI6, LI9, LL1, LN1, LN2, LN3, LN5, LN6, LN7, LP5, LP8, LP9, LP10, LP11, LP12, LP13, LR1, LR4, LR9, LR10, LR11, LR13, SP1, TL1, TL2, TL3, TM2, TM7 Pos 4, TM8, TM9, TM10, TV6, TV9, TV10, TV11, TV15

561: ID1, ID23, IE1, IE8, IE9, IE10, IE14, IE16, IE19, IE20, IE21, IM1, IR2, IR4, IR14, KP1, KP2, KP3, KP4, KP5, KT1, KT3, LA7, LA8, LA9, LE5, LE6, LE10, LI2, LN1, LN2 Pos 9, LN3, LP2, LP14, LS2, PR1, PW1, PW7, TL1, TM2, TM3, TR2, TV1

Misc: 75189, 7303, 7304, 8303, 8304, i8259, ULN200x, ULN280x

Supported PALs and GALs

The 20-pin ICs of the PAL and GAL families have a security bit which is supposed to prevent the chip from being copied. However, the underlying logic equations can be reconstructed with more or less effort if all possible input combinations are gone through and the associated outputs are logged and then analyzed. In this way a copy can be made that is logically identical to the original.

However, this approach does not work with the following ICs:

  • all „registered“ PALs (PAL16R4, PAL16R6, PAL16R8 etc.)
  • all GALs that have been configured as „registered“ (GAL16V8 etc.)

Basically only pure combinatorial logic ICs can be analyzed in this way. Purely combinatorial logic ICs that implement latches using combinatorial logic cannot be analyzed either.

Power supply

The tester offers the following options for power supply:

  1. With a DC/DC converter as a plug-in module. This module can then be used to test 4116/4108 chips. Power is supplied via USB or a barrel connector (6-9V).
  2. Without DC/DC converter, using a barrel connector (then a linear regulator must be fitted).
  3. Without DC/DC converter, via USB.
  4. The three supply voltages 5V, -5V and 12V can also be supplied from e.g. a PC power supply unit. 4116/4108 chips can also be tested in this way.

If no 4116/4108 DRAMs or 2704/2708 EPROMs are to be tested, you save a few more Euros by eliminating the DC/DC converter.


Current firmware Pro Rev.1

The current firmware for the Pro Rev.1 can be downloaded from this page. The archives only contain the binary files that can be written using an ISP burner. There are no source files included!