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Decapping (decapsulation) or delidding of an integrated circuit is the process of removing the protective cover of a microchip so that the contained die is revealed for visual inspection of the micro circuitry imprinted on the die. This process is typically done in order to debug a manufacturing problem with the chip, or possibly to copy information from the device. Modern integrated circuits can be encapsulated in plastic, ceramic, or epoxy.
Decapping is usually carried out by chemical etching of the covering, laser cutting, or mechanical removal of the cover using a milling machine. The process can be either destructive or non-destructive of the internal die. With care, it's possible to decap a device and still leave it functional.
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