Fair enough method but all that does is eliminate times before the oldest component you can find.
Atari seemed to have a habit of ordering some pretty huge inventories of various ICs, e.g. they made tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of the first 2 Basic revisions which both inadvertantly contained buggy code and still used years later.
Plus we still have many spares available that have never been used before.
I guess the best method might be using serial numbers but then you need to know the base for each year and I imagine that kind of information was rarely archived.
Here are a few serial numbers to play around with:
From a Texas Instruments TMS9918ANL chip:
DHU 8323 (where "8323" would mean year 1983, 23rd week)
DHU 8249 (where "8249" would mean: year 1982, 49th week)
MHU 33614 (the "336" would mean: year 1983, 36th week?)
From a Texas Instruments SN76489AN chip:
319 X (possibly: year 1983, 19th week; not sure if last two numbers ran higher than 52 or 53)
From a Texas Instruments TMS4764NL chip:
B8327L ("8327" is year 1983, 27th week)
I wonder how many of you have any disassembled CV Donkey Kong carts (both 16K and 24K) to show us, so that I can decipher the date codes printed on their microchips (TI TMS4764 and others)?
Also: I wonder how high the date codes for the 24K DK cartridge ROM chips went up to, since these were the earliest-produced, and that the 16K ROM version of the same game came a few months after the ColecoVision's August 1982 introduction in stores?
Edited by ColecoFan1981, Thu Dec 1, 2011 9:06 PM.