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Learning to Decapsulate Integrated Circuits using Acid Deposition

I’ve been looking to try my hand at IC decapsulation for years, and finally got the time to do it. The process took plenty of trial and error, so this post will document most of my failures and successes, and detail the methodologies used for each attempt. These are most of the ICs I worked on throughout the process:

A typical chip is built as a silicon die, connected to its leads/contacts through bonding wires, and encapsulated in resin for protection.

Of course, there are other ICs that use different designs and encapsulation materials: mostly metal and plastics. But the epoxy-based design is extremely common, so we’ll be focusing on it.”

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