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I was using a transistor radio to check whether the innards of a remote control was working, although it was not producing any infrared (and that is checked by pointing it at the webcam) and realised that it was a technique worthy of application to a wider variety of situations.
Most LSI (Large
Scale Integration) circuits already have BITE (Built In Test Equipment) circuitry and pins dedicated to this function, for ease in testing during production. This is essential for circuits as complex as modern CPU chips since a full functional test on the chip may easily require a few minutes. But the BITE readout sequence is not usually disclosed since this might contain information on the structural design of the chip, something the manufacturers wish not to reveal to competitors.
So, on large enough chips where the extra hardware becomes insignificant, I propose a voice readout. An extra pin, when activated, will cause the chip to emit EM waves which on being picked up by a radio will be the words "I'm OK" or similiar. If the chip is really OK, of course.
||So you want to BITE my POST?
||Okay, but this means every chip will have to have a power source, transmitter and antenna (the last two built-in). And you still might get false postitives.
||I'm all for this idea, though probably tempered where practical. I would love a chip installed in certain items triggered by perhaps a laser pointer or something which will respond with whatever would be appropriate. Point to a lamp, you get bulb hours left.. point to an oven, how long for the cake -- point to a smoke detector, batter status, etc.. a + !