This can be printed usually in white or etched. It consists of a "core" code which identifies the IC's function, and the type of electronics used within it.
This is often supplemented by manufacturer's prefixes and suffixes which give information about the manufacturer and the carrier's physical form. This code tells you what the IC does. There are hundreds of these codes.
Many common ones are given on the 74 Series page. This tells you which company made the IC.
There a many hundred of different prfixes, and dozens of manufacturers, some sharing the same prefix. As these prefixes are not unique to the 74 Series of ICs, these prefixes are listed separately and can be found here. It can also give information about the material e.
These suffixes are not unique to the 74 Series of ICs, and as such, they are listed on a separate page, here. From Wikibooks, open books for an open world.
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