Cytech Systems' Decapsulation Laboratory has been Established, with Supporting Cases in Place

February 15, 2023

Cytech System, an electronic component distributor, aims to strengthen its "new infrastructure" system in 2023 as part of its strategy to navigate through industry cycles. One key focus area is the enhancement of the company's quality management system, including the establishment of higher standards for quality laboratories that cover testing items such as EVI, X-ray, and decapsulation.

In January 2023, Cytech Systems' decapsulation laboratory in Shenzhen landed as scheduled.


The image shows Cytech Systems' decapsulation laboratory

This also brings more advantages to Cytech Systems' quality control system.

01 Professional

The laboratory is legal and compliant, with full documentation(certification). The engineers have extensive decapsulation experience, ensuring that samples are not damaged during the process and avoiding material waste.

02 High Quality

Using high-concentration acid for decapsulation, it achieves superior results compared to a muffle furnace in high-temperature decapsulation, comparable to those of third-party laboratories.

03 Accurate

The microscope in the laboratory has a high magnification, comprehensive functions, and helps avoid misjudgments due to overlooking imprint information on the grain.

04 Fast

The laboratory is able to complete decapsulation testing within 25 minutes, and conduct “EVI + X-ray + Decap testing”within 2 days (excluding ceramic and metal ICs). There is no need to wait for order scheduling from third-party laboratories, enabling quick verification of authenticity. This significantly improves testing efficiency and enhances customer satisfaction with service.

So what exactly is "decapsulation"?

Decapsulation, abbreviated as DECAP,is a destructive test that involves using chemical reagents or laser etching to remove the external packaging of a component. This process is used to inspect the original manufacturer's markings, layout, defects, and other details on the surface of the grain.

Cytech System's decapsulation laboratory employs a chemical method (Acid Decap). This method involves using acidic reagents to corrode the resin or plastic covering the surface of the chip, exposing the grain of any plastic-sealed chip. The surface is left clean and without corrosion. QC engineers use this method to gather more information for determining the authenticity of the chip.


The images show a comparison of the same component before and after decapsulation in Cytech Systems’ Lab.


Cytech System’s Lab considers decapsulation should include three essential elements.

1. Safety


(1)Laboratory facilities such as fume hoods, eye wash stations, storage cabinets, etc., are placed in accordance with relevant regulations such as the "Regulations on the Safety Administration of Dangerous Chemicals," and clear signage is affixed.


The image shows PPE explosion-proof cabinets, corrosion-resistant cabinets, and hazardous chemical waste recovery barrels.

(2)The hazardous chemical warehouse strictly implements a dual-person, dual-lock system. In addition, fingerprint access control has been added on the basis of the original mechanical lock, making it even more secure and convenient.


Double-person double-lock, coupled with fingerprint access control.

Operational procedure:

(1) Before entering the laboratory, it is mandatory to wear protective gear such as protective clothing, protective masks, safety goggles, protective gloves, and safety shoes.


(2)During the experimental process, hazardous chemicals are strictly accessed according to regulations, and entry and exit records are properly documented.


Take chemicals according to the specified guidelines and maintain accurate entry and exit records.

2. Professional 

Team and Specialized Equipment: Used to inspect the surface of the grain for cracks, scratches, ESD damage, multi-layer grains, etc., after decap. Afterward, cross-check the markings such as model and logo on the grain to ensure consistency with customer requirements. Finally, take photos and store them in the database. This step takes 15 minutes.


The image shows a (3D) microscope: 70-7000X magnification lens.

3.  Efficient 

Decapsulation for materials like SOIC, QFP, QFN, SOT, TO, DIP, BGA, COB, SSOP, etc., takes approximately 1 minute. Some materials with challenging properties may take around 5-10 minutes (excluding ceramic and metal ICs). 

Overall, the process from decapsulation to reaching a conclusion for a single material takes less than 25 minutes.
The images show the grain and its imprints after decap

Certainly, providing specific cases serves as a endorsement for Cytech Systems' decapsulation lab and helps everyone to understand more clearly.

Decap Case: A Renesas sample without the original manufacturer's logo 
Sample Model: ISL3172EIUZ-T


Sample Testing Instructions: Upon decap, observing the surface of the grain reveals the absence of the original manufacturer's logo, only the imprint "GM10" is present. In contrast, for the same series of materials, ISL3178EIUZ-T, there is the original factory logo after decapsulation. Therefore, it is determined that this batch is a high-risk material.

Additionally, as previously introduced, Cytech Systems' Shenzhen laboratory possesses EVI and X-ray testing capabilities. Therefore, attached are two external visual inspection cases from Cytech Systems’ Lab.

Case 1: Dirt on the solder pads and heat sink of a Silicon Labs sample 
Sample Model: SI5328B-C-GM


Sample Testing Instructions: The test revealed a 100% defect rate in the samples. The surface of the heat sink and solder pads shows neatly shaped dirt, a phenomenon not present on qualified products. The non-compliant material may have been placed on untreated items and contaminated.

Case 2: Discoloration of pins on a Maxim sample 
Sample Model: VT1697SBFQX


Sample Testing Instructions: The test revealed a 100% defect rate in the samples. The solder joint appears yellow, and the yellowing area is irregular and has an irregular shape, which may be due to oxidation or incomplete cleaning of the electroplating solution causing discoloration.

In the future, Cytech Systems’Lab will regularly disclose information about intercepted anomalies and high-risk materials detected during testing each month. On the one hand, this will help customers anticipate risks, ensuring the safety of their supply chains. On the other hand, it will contribute to the industry by sharing accumulated experience, leveraging Cytech Systems' "soft power" to strengthen the "solid foundation" of the distribution industry.

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