Decapping Integrated Circuits

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Guru Maker
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:25 pm
Location: Busselton

Decapping Integrated Circuits

Post by parkview » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:27 am

Last week Hack-a-Day posted an blog page on how you can decap an IC via using heat to decompose the glue that holds the top and bottom of the IC together: ... -easy-way/

The next day I setup my trusty Chinese hot air soldering station out in the shed and got to work in pulling apart a DVD-Drive and an old Cisco desk phone that I had lying around. Sure enough I found lots of chips that I could remove from the boards:
dvd-drive.jpg (113.67 KiB) Viewed 2483 times

I turned the air-flow up and set the temperature to 550deg C and set to work heating up the chips and once they where hot enough, trying to peel the surfaces apart:
decap-work1.jpg (28.95 KiB) Viewed 2483 times

Some of them separated easily, in others the glue was very strong. There where two chips (Winbond?), that had extremely thin silicon and they fractured very easily. In the end I ended up with three nice looking silicon chips, the best was this Broadcom IC:
Broadcom_sml.jpg (301.43 KiB) Viewed 2483 times

I pulled apart a voltage regulator, and found I nice looking core inside:
regulator.jpg (36.39 KiB) Viewed 2483 times

Above, you can see the three wire bond pads on the left half of the chip.

Not bad for an hours worth of fun!

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