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'REPHRASED--In which PICs is the copy protection'
1999\11\24@143330 by Marcelo Yamamoto

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ROM Version is the most in-vulnerable. OTP is a EPROM version without the
window, also known as PROM. ROM chip is produced under a custom made MASK
config.

Marcelo

Craig wrote:

>So what you are saying is that the OTP devices are the most in-vulnerable?
>
>> {Original Message removed}

1999\11\24@144959 by Craig Lee

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Marcello,

Do you know what the minimum volume required for a mask is
for the 12bit instruction PICs?

Craig

> {Original Message removed}

1999\11\24@150620 by Marcelo Yamamoto

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You have to pay about US$2000 to Microchip as MASK production and buy 10000
pieces in a year.

Marcelo

>Do you know what the minimum volume required for a mask is
>for the 12bit instruction PICs?
>
>Craig
>
>> {Original Message removed}

1999\11\24@160458 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Craig Lee wrote:
>
> So what you are saying is that the OTP devices are the most in-vulnerable?

At some point of view, yes.  The erasable devices, as E2prom, Windowed
Eprom and Flash, has the block bits also erasable, they make part of the
regular memory bits, what means, if the device is protected, you can
turn off the protection bits if you erase the whole device, than by some
way one could erase just the protection bits, or part of the code too,
but it means the device *is not* totally protected.

By the other side, it is very difficult to flip a bit in a non windowed
eprom device as OTP, probably a strong electromagnetic pulse could do
it, and probably also destroy the device, but it is more difficult than
the others above.  The masked ROM version (and PROM if any), apparently
are the ones with best protection, since they have no programmable way
to be able to read back the programmed code, or because its "unprotected
bits" doesn't exist, or because they are fused as a PROM device is, so,
once the fuse is burnt, there is no possible way to rebuild it, thus,
reading the code contents.

So, Imagine you are a company not so much honest, trying to do some
piracy, you would buy a thousand units from your competitor, and start
to do pre-erasing, or fast erasing pulses, until by any luck, you got
the protection bits erased first, perhaps with part of the code, but the
rest of the code would be exposed.  Now, windowed eprom devices, looks
to be easier, since one could focus UV light in tinny spots over the
silicon die, and trying to find exactly the location of the protection
bits, erasing them only!!!  UV is a high frequency and could be focused
in very tinny spots.  I would not trust windowed eprom devices so easily
as to be highly protected.

Somebody said that piracy is a bad thing, yesssss it is!  Even worse
when you make money selling what is not yours by right.  I may be
confused a bit, and I apologize if I am wrong, but it was not Microsoft
who sold (without Steve Jobs's permission and profit) Apple "Windows" (a
free gift from HP?NCR? to S.Jobs) to NEC many years ago? ahaaaam, why
crack a chip if you can have somebody else's source code?

Hey Bill, is that right? or they lied about it too?

Wagner.

1999\11\24@165617 by Terry A. Steen

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Sort-of....

Get a GOOD vendor who will pay the up-front cost, order the initial run,
and prorate the expense into the cost of the parts. Then, it's just value
added expenses... ie, $0.15/$0.20 per device.


At 06:02 PM 11/24/99 -0200, you wrote:
>You have to pay about US$2000 to Microchip as MASK production and buy 10000
>pieces in a year.
>
>Marcelo
>
>>Do you know what the minimum volume required for a mask is
>>for the 12bit instruction PICs?
>>
>>Craig
>>
>>> {Original Message removed}

1999\11\24@170453 by Terry A. Steen

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Here! Here!

I need not say more!



At 04:03 PM 11/24/99 -0500, Wagner Lipnharski wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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1999\11\24@172948 by Mike M

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I know im going to get myself into big trouble here on this topic...but before i
open my big mouth and put my 2cents in..

Werent original "hackers" cracking code simply to learn?
would anyone say that if you are cracking code to just for knowledge would it st
ill be wrong compared to cracking code to take it for yourself and sell it..(umm
wait, isnt that the american way?)

MiKE

On Wed, 24 Nov 1999 17:09:11 -0500 "Terry A. Steen" <.....engineeringKILLspamspam@spam@MARINAPOWER.COM
{Quote hidden}

Send someone a cool Dynamitemail flashcard greeting!! And get rewarded.
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1999\11\24@175502 by Marcelo Yamamoto

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Depending on quantity, ROM version is still cheaper than an OTP. When they
produce a custom mask, usually it's less than a full memory chip and they
increase the production, allowing a cost save about 5-20%. Of course it
works only if you do not have a program that uses the full memory.

Marcelo

Terry wrote:

>Sort-of....
>
>Get a GOOD vendor who will pay the up-front cost, order the initial run,
>and prorate the expense into the cost of the parts. Then, it's just value
>added expenses... ie, $0.15/$0.20 per device.
>
>
>At 06:02 PM 11/24/99 -0200, you wrote:
>>You have to pay about US$2000 to Microchip as MASK production and buy
10000
>>pieces in a year.
>>
>>Marcelo

1999\11\24@183051 by Dave Minkler

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I could be mistaken here but:

Mask is a metal layer which would be vulnerable to a physical inspection
of the part (after peeling away the plastic with nitric acid).

OTP EPROM, Flash and other field programmable parts are programmed by
burying a charge (much harder to get a look at that!)

Microprobes would probably allow a sufficiently motivated organization
to hack your code but the act of getting the probes to the die would
probably disturb your code.  Much harder to get to the die in a plastic
part than a windowed part.

A few years ago people were trying to use electron microscope techniques
to detect voltage levels in circuits but at the time these methods were
not very fast.

mink

1999\11\25@040627 by paulb

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Dave Minkler wrote:

> Much harder to get to the die in a plastic part than a windowed part.

 Eh?  Didn't you just assert that nitric acid (fuming) removed it
easily?

> A few years ago people were trying to use electron microscope
> techniques to detect voltage levels in circuits but at the time these
> methods were not very fast.

 So with a PIC, you can slow the clock down to zero if you want to.
The marvels of CMOS technology.  And I'll bet a (PIC-based?)
*programmable* electron microprobe would make it much faster!
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

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