Inside a 741 op amp, showing the die. This is a TO-99 metal can package, with the top sawed off
This is really cool and potentially life-changing for radical fundamentalist ludite homebrewers. As our readers will know, my big objection to the use of integrated circuit chips is the fact that these little black boxes are in fact often, well, little black boxes. We don't know what is going on in there. It seems to me pointless to shy away from the use of large black boxes (the extremely complex "radios" that dominate the amateur airwaves today) only to fill our homebrew rigs with smaller black boxes.
But when we crack one of these boxes open and take a look at the transistors, resistors, and capacitors formed on the substrate, then diagram it all out, I think the fog of mystery is blown away by a refreshing wind of insight and understanding. We saw this happen on a much smaller scale when someone cut open an SBL1 mixer, but that wasn't an IC. Ken Shirriff has now done this with the venerable 741 Op Amp. And he did it with a hack saw. Bravo Ken. I can now in good conscience uses 741 op amps in my rigs.