Cytech Systems’ Lab:How to Identify the Authenticity of A Chip? This Test has the Most Say!

August 11, 2023

It’s really hard to guard against fakes, and decapsulation is an important means to ensure that the components are authentic and of the best quality.

What is decapsulation?
Decapsulation, abbreviated as Decap.
Specifically, decapsulation refers to the local corrosion of the fully packaged chip, so that the chip can be exposed, and at the same time, the integrity of the wafer can be ensured, which facilitates the inspection of important marks, layout, process defects, etc. on the surface of the grain. For example, it can detect whether there is a wafer inside, the size of the wafer, the manufacturer's logo, the copyright year, and the wafer code to determine the authenticity of the chip.

Through decap, it can observe the internal structure of the chip more intuitively, and then combine it with OM and other equipment analysis to determine the cause of the sample fault and possible causes of invalid.

What does the decapsulation include?
Commonly used decapping methods include Chemical Decapsulation, Mechanical Decapsulation and Laser Decapsulation. The decapping laboratory can handle almost all IC packaging forms, including special packaging such as BGA, QFP, QFN, SOT, DIP ceramics, COB and metal., and bonding wire type (Au, Cu, Ag, Al).
In IC testing, the chemical unsealing method can be used for the decapsulation, or the laser unsealing and then chemical unsealing method can be used.
The chemical decapsulation method is a commonly used decapsulation method. It can quickly corrode the packaging colloid of the chip, exposing the inside of the chip for subsequent experimental processing and observation.
The advantages of chemical decapsulation are simple operation, low cost, and no thermal damage to the chip. But it also has disadvantages, such as the possibility of chemical damage to the chip and the inability to position and cut the chip.
The laser decapsulation method generally uses a laser to etch away the packaging colloid of the chip, and then uses chemical methods to expose the inside of the chip.
The method of laser decapsulation and then chemical unsealing can position and cut the chip without causing chemical damage to the chip. But it also has disadvantages, such as the need to use expensive laser equipment and the potential for thermal damage to the chip.

Not long ago, Cytech Systems Lab received a batch of TC426EOA713 materials, and first discovered two doubts through external visual inspection:

1、The chip shape does not match the specifications

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6401 (1).png

Chip under test

2、The appearance of the gold sample is consistent with the specifications



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Gold sample chip

The appearance of the gold sample chip is the same as the specification, but the chip to be tested is different. When the appearance inspection cannot be determined, the importance of decapsulation becomes even more prominent.

3、After decapsulation, it was found that there was no logo

There is no logo after decapsulation of the chip to be tested

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There is a logo and model information after decapsulating the gold sample

As a result, Cytech Systems Lab determined this batch of materials to be fake and returned them!

What are the common‘problem chips’?
1、Refurbished goods
2、Engineering samples or products that have been programmed and burned
3、Pin oxidation
4、High imitation and counterfeiting

Only by identifying the authenticity of components can we better ensure quality, and the complete set of Documentation and Packaging Inspection + X-Ray + Decapsulation+ XRF is an important guarantee for Cytech Systems Lab to ensure the authenticity of components and regard quality as the lifeline!

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