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Integrated Circuit IDentifier (aka. ICID) is a tool to help identifying ICs based on their pinout.


The best way to identify ICs is by its top marking. But sometimes this is scrubbed away. Is this case, you have to use its location on the board, its package, and a lot of experience. In the end you will often use the datasheet of the candidate, and manually check if the pinout matches.

The website of distributors (DigiKey, Mouser, element14, …) or search part search engines (octopart) already allow you to look for possible ICs based on the package and number of pins. But what is missing is a search based on the pinout. ICID solves this issue.


I created a database of part pinouts based on the models provided by the chip vendors. The ICID search engine allows to search parts by vendor/manufacturer, package, pin count, and most importantly by setting pin constrains.

To build the database, I used following model types provided by the vendor:

  • IBIS: used to do analogue simulations (e.g. *spice). The model quality is very mixed (it does not often provide the complete pinout).
  • BSDL: used to do boundary scan electronic testing. This is generally of good quality, but is only provided for micro-controllers which support JTAG.
  • BXL: a proprietary symbol and footprint library. This is not provided by all vendors and for all parts, but its support is growing and the larger vendors provide BXL files for the most (popular) parts.


Here are a couple of tips to improve the search results.

First select the file type. since parts can be described by different models (file types), you might have duplicate parts in the final list:

  • if you are looking for a micro-controller which supports JTAG, select only the BSDL file type. This already remove a lot of candidates. The pinout provided in the BSDL models is often good, thus the pins constraints rule can be used precisely.
  • if you are look for a micro-controller which does not supports JTAG, not a micro-controller, or did not find the result using BSDL (because the vendor does not provide a BSDL for it), select BXL as file type. This database is quite large and the pinout provided in BXL models is generally quite good.
  • finally, if you did not find any result in BSDL and BXL, you can still try the IBIS file type. IBIS files are also provided for old parts (even before BXL existd), mostly for high-end or analogue parts, but the pinout provided is terrible. Often only some pins are described (the most relevant for an analogue simulation), thus I recommend also selecting as pin count all numbers under the actual pin count.

writing pins constraint rules:

  • the rules are written as conditionals which you often find in programming language: using == (is equal to), != (is not equal to), && (and), and || (or).
  • to select pin 1, use pin[“1”]. For BGA array you can also use non-numeric pin names: pin[“A1”].
  • the pin types are: power, ground, input, output, bidir
  • instead of writing what a pin type should be, I recommend to write what is can't be. When you see ground connected to a pin, this pin could be an actual ground pin, but it could also be an input, or bi-directional used as input. What it can't be though, is a power pin.
  • keep in mind that not all pins are described correctly by the models


  • once you select a part, the details of it will be displayed
  • this is the complete part information stored in the database
  • it is created by parsing the models provided by the vendor
  • a link you the source file (e.g. model provided by the vendor) is also available (next to the “details” header). You this source file to get more information about the part, and double check if the pinout is correct.
  • if you find discrepancies between the “details” and the source file, the parsing might be erroneous. please contact me ( so I can fix it.


To create the databases I only used models provided by the vendors themselves. This provides a certain level of quality and accuracy. But even these are not 100% correct and contain errors (more often than you would think). But I don't have the resources to check each model individually. So use the search engine as best effort rather than perfect source. Still, my parsing of these models surely also contains bugs. In the later case, just contact me and I will fix it (be sure that the issue is not in the source file in the first place).

Here is a list of the resources for the source files used to created the IC database:

STMicroelectronics here (mixed quality, lots commented out) here (almost only available for STM32/STM8 micro-controllers. other only available as OrCAD) here (only available for STM32 micro-controllers)
Microchip here (good) here (good) here (good)
Texas Instruments go to the product page using the part number (should be here but it does not seem to exist anymore) go to the product page using the part number (alternatively here) go to the product page using the part number (should be here, but nothing is listed)
NXP here here (very limited) here
Cypress here (good) doesn't offer BXL (but Cadence, Altium, OrCAD, Mentor symbol/footprint) here (very limited)
Silicon Laboratories here here here (very limited)
Maxim here here (forwards to UltraLibrarian, which does not provide the BXL source file) here
Renesas here here here
icid.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/24 17:18 by kingkevin