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 Post subject: Cost of decapping chips
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:27 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Posts: 19221
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
How much would it cost to get eight integrated circuits from the early 1990s decapped, delayered, photographed, and traced?

There's demand for a white-box clone of the Super NES. That'd require micrographs of these chips:

  • S-CPU revision 2
  • S-CPU revision 1
  • S-PPU1
  • S-PPU2
  • S-SMP
  • S-DSP
  • Super FX GSU2
  • SA-1

Any applicable patents and mopyrights have expired, as a patent on the functionality lasts 20 years, and the mopyright on the topography only 10. The resulting polygons would form a netlist useful for simulation or for synthesis on an FPGA.

But the Visual 6502 project appears to have stalled; its blog has two new posts in the past four and a half years. So the community might have to seek other means of getting the job done. What other firms do this sort of thing? And how much does it cost per chip, in case someone wants to crowdfund this? I'd back it.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:41 pm 

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Posts: 857
Location: Sweden
An open-source white-box clone would be great for documenting this piece of video game history before it's lost to time. I'd probably also back it if it was crowdfunded.

I think S-PPU2 has existing versions between 1 and 3 at least, so we might ideally want them all decapped as well at some point. And then we have the 1CHIP where changes also seems to be unknown.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:23 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:03 am
Posts: 255
Hard to say, depends on how many layers etc and what the layers are. Taking all the photos takes time as well. Probably better asking he does a lot of decaps and reverses chips, and seems to have the tool on hand. He should be able to get a good idea of at least getting the photos.

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