Open and see whats inside!

Added: Talesha Barbieri - Date: 05.11.2021 00:34 - Views: 10463 - Clicks: 5954

I always loved the easter eggs and art that some chips have included on the circuits, most of which has never been seen and will never be seen by anybody but the deers. Great links! Reminds of this [0] instance in the wild of using chip art to send a message to those attempting to decap and reverse engineer a de. Which reminds me of a story from a retired Bell Labs, Murray Hill engineer who related how they would add useless circuits to microprocessors to see if these sections were duplicated or deleted by the old Soviet military engineers.

They were duplicated. While sulfuric or nitric acid is the best way to do this, you can also decap using a box cutter and some patience. We occasionally used a regular old propane torch at a employer, mainly looking for counterfeit power FETs. It'll burn the bond wires and such off an IC, and certainly isn't going to result in great quality images but it's not too hard to get rid of the plastic without damaging the silicon beyond recognition.

It was pretty dirt cheap to get someone to decap a package like this.

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You could also get them to put under an electron x-ray? Then they would use something called FIB to cut and draw wires to test out bug fixes.

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Usually the deers would keep a couple unused gates at periodic intervals to borrow for fixes. I always liked the physical side of electronics as contrary as computer programming where is all virtual nowadays. What would be the career path for a job in chip de and manufacturing? NikkiA on March 28, [—]. Bear in mind that humans don't generally get involved with the lower levels of the chip de these days, the de is maintained at a fairly high level with gate placement and routing tending to be driven by genetic algorithms.

For digital chips perhaps, but analog and mixed-al de still involves a lot of manual layout. For chip de specifically, that's rather tricky.

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In my experience, it generally requires a graduate EE degree. However, there are a lot of affiliated roles if silicon interests you. With the rise of SoCs and other digitally controlled parts, there is a bigger demand for supplemental software for validation and configuration. Very long and very lucky. I looked into microelectronics when I was a teenager. Inyou needed to be at the top of your class just to get an internship with a fab or a fabless. In general, there are more automation with each year in both de and fab side.

Companies have luxury of employing people with 20 year careers at prices of average software devs in California. The only exception is, of course, China: their fabs offer 6 digit salaries for senior engineers, but work experience is famously bad. All of them expect foreign specialists to come with some "magic trick solution" for their business refusing to work, Open and see whats inside!

of course they get pissed off if told that there are no magic tricks in this business. I diverged from a very similar career path due to layoffs spurred by my employer being acquired, the remaining HW de team told to promptly relocate to Bay Area, whereupon they were gradually weaned out by extremely large work lo. Those to made it were then told to promptly relocate to SE Asia. The layoff, in hindsight, seemed the most appealing option. That's the market alling low demand, and a dying field.

Im so glad I didnt get that gig out of college at altera and got diverted into software by market forces. Study EE, and if you want to stand out - concentrate on formal verification methods for HDL verification. Is EE actually the correct field to study for formal verification?

I have been looking into this at one point and it seemed very much within the realm of computer scientists. This compared with the CS program that contains multiple very in-depth courses exactly on those topics which seem pretty critical for formal verification of hardware.

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You could go the computer engineering route. Not every university offers it. If you can't pursue a computer engineering degree at your school, an EE degree with a heavy focus on digital de will get you close. There are a bunch of free online MIT classes for this kind of stuff. MSCoE here. FPGAs have limited applicability due to their high cost per unit and relatively low clock speeds. I work in aerospace, FPGAs are the dominant chip. Everything from basic microprocessors to complex SDRs all run on them. Xilinx is the big one but there are smaller shops making more application-specific chips.

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The EE degree is only there to make you employable as an EE. You'll have to teach yourself formal methods on your own. That's why it's a way to stand out. Double majoring exists specifically for this purpose. Read lots of books, make simple electronic toys. Read some more books, hang on forums, visit some to specialists.

Understand bleeding edge in some area. I'm struck by how aesthetically pleasing some of the images are. They remind me of stained glass windows. No, that's pretty much what they look like under a microscope. I recently decapped some old chips that were ceramic packages with a soldered on metal cap. BarsMonster on March 28, [—].

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They are indeed enhanced, but about 2x, not 10x. At the time of the writing I was increasing saturation on all photos a bit in postprocessing. Colors are mainly due to light interference caused by different glass thickness over the chip area.

Source: I am the author.

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Colors are enhanced, in reality they are much less saturated. A modern wifi chip is made with a lot smaller processes and multiple orders of magnitude more complex. As an aside, I find chips that have been covered in epoxy really annoying. When I was young, a friend of mine sawed a chip in two for this.

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It was rather old and had small golden wires everywhere that connected stuff, they made it look like some ancient tech. These are very cool. The layout and traces remind me of a well deed factory in Factorio. La-ang on March 28, [—]. I'm gonna print this and hang it on the wall :D Circuit Art I'd call it. These would make really cool art pieces on their own.

Very interesting technique. I remember when they would reverse engineer chips by grinding them down while taking nice pictures of each layer for the engineers to interpret later. That is, prototype dice failing test would be ground down until a black spot was found.

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Very expensive de cycles, so lots of incentive to extensively model such issues before fab. Hacker News new past comments ask show jobs submit. NikkiA on March 28, [—] Bear in mind that humans don't generally get involved with the lower levels of the chip de these days, the de is maintained at a fairly high level with gate placement and routing tending to be driven by genetic algorithms.

BarsMonster on March 28, [—] They are indeed enhanced, but about 2x, not 10x.

Open and see whats inside!

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