Discontinued IC's

From: Eric Smith <eric_at_brouhaha.com>
Date: Mon Jul 31 18:40:11 2000

> I have been wondering how difficult it would be to pop the top off
> an ASIC (perhaps one of the DEC gate arrays in my 11/750), photograph
> it using the probe station at work, and reverse engineer the circuitry
> based on the photographs. A program to recognize individual transistors
> wouldn't be too difficult, then generating simple gates (nand,nor,invert),
> from them, the high level stuff like registers and busses...
> Anybody know of a tool to do something like that?

There are companies that specialize in reverse-engineering chips. It's
reported that they've automated the process from photomicrograph to
netlist. However, they consider their tools to be highly proprietary.
AFAIK, they're not for sale at any price.

Chips with more than two layers of metal are substantially harder
to reverse-engineer. A simple photomicrograph isn't sufficient.
Received on Mon Jul 31 2000 - 18:40:11 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:32:58 BST