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Blogs | INSIGHTS | January 22, 2008

Security Mechanism of PIC16C558,620,621,622

Last month we talked about the structure of an AND-gate layed out in Silicon CMOS.  Now, we present to you how this AND gate has been used in Microchip PICs such as PIC16C558, PIC16C620, PIC16C621, PIC16C622, and a variety of others. If you wish to determine if this article relates to a particular PIC you may be in possession of, you can take an windowed OTP part (/JW) and set the lock-bits.  If after 10 minutes in UV, it still says it’s locked, this article applies to your…

Blogs | INSIGHTS | November 1, 2007

Unmarked Die Revisions :: Part II

[NOTE- This article will describe a process known as “Wet-Etching“.  Wet-etching is a process that can be very dangerous and we do not recommend anyone reading this try it unless you know what you are doing and have the proper equipment. The chemicals required such as Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) attack bone marrow.  HF is painless until several hours later when it’s too late to take proper action so please be careful and be responsible. ] Previously we discussed noticing Microchip making changes…

Blogs | INSIGHTS | October 26, 2007

Decapsulated devices

Recently at Toorcon9 (, some individuals asked to see images of decapsulated parts still in their packages. I dug around and came up with some examples. Click on any of the pictures for a larger version.     Above: Dallas DS89C450     Above: Microchip dsPIC30F6013 Using our proprietary procedures, all parts remain 100% functional with no degradation after exposing the substrate.

Blogs | INSIGHTS |

Unmarked Die Revisions :: Part I

We have noticed a few different die revisions on various Microchip’s substrates that caught our attention.  In most case when a company executes any type of change to the die, they change the nomenclature slightly.  An example is the elder PIC16C622.  After some changes, the later part was named the PIC16C622A and there was major silicon layout changes to the newer ‘A’ part. The PIC16C54 has been through three known silicon revs (‘A’ – ‘C’) and has now been replaced by the PIC16F54. However, we’ve noticed two different devices from them (PIC12F683…


Thoughts on Supply Chain Integrity

In this video presentation, John Sheehy, VP, Sales and Strategy at IOActive, shares his comprehensive view on the myriad considerations facing business as they undertake supply chain integrity assessments, focused on securing operations.