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Author Topic: 16F628A can I make a copy?  (Read 2133 times)
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fichamba
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« on: March 19, 2009, 01:53:00 13:53 »

Hi everybody,

does somebody know if I am able to do a copy of a 16F628A? I have a terrible problem, the people who make it no longer exists, and it's not possible for me to order more copies of this programmed pic. The ones that I have are in SSOP (SMD) 18 pin package (I can make an adaptor to program the new ones in a DIL way, no problem).

Thanks in advance for your help.
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kayvee
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 02:34:07 14:34 »

If the code protection fuses have been set on the device at compile/assemble or program time the answer is no.  If they have not been set then yes you can. The only way to tell is to read back the device with a programmer and examine the fuse settings and/or memory.

It is unlikely that anyone would leave the device unprotected if they are selling pre-programmed devices.

Some say it has been possible to chemically etch away the encapsulation and use a scanning electron microscope to reverse engineer the code ... but that's another ballgame!
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fichamba
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 11:59:25 11:59 »

Thanks kayvee. I was aware of that...I didn't read it yet, but of course I think it is write-protected, because it was a commercial one. And regarding the electron microscope method...I have heard that somebody in Eastern Europe was doing this for extra money...a huge amount!. I need to know if this people still exists, and how much will be the cost. They do this class of reverse engineering, at a cost, of course!.

Cheers!
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pickit2
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 12:29:59 12:29 »

I would first try to read the chip, At my place of work, we don't protect our devices if they are surface mounted, and I work for a large security firm.
But if they are code protected then
It would be cheaper to have a code rewrite, than pay the thousand's wanted to extract the code from the chip.
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yahoo
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 02:09:17 14:09 »

But if they are code protected then It would be cheaper to have a code rewrite, than pay the thousand's wanted to extract the code from the chip.

I cannot agree with that. Many internet based companies can extract the code from ANY Microchip PIC microcontroller for $850. This is no more than a week for one engineer. Do you think you are able to develop and fully test any PIC based project for a week? I don't think so. Many times for more complicated projects/products is much better to pay that price and to have the proper code in 1-3 days instead of waiting months somebody to do it and it will be cheaper only if it is a hobby stuff.
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fichamba
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 06:54:45 18:54 »

Hey! Thanks a lot for all of your replies!.

The only reason for me what made me not test this one is the package -18 pins SOIC. I need to make an adapter to read it into a DIL socket of my programmer. But this weekend I'll do it and see. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that it will be fused, and obviously code protected.

To yahoo: agreed. I will prefer to pay 850 bucks and be sure (because this one is working fine), rather than start from scratch. Moreover, I will have exactly what I had, and what I was used to had.

Again, thanks a lot for your excellent feedback!.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 06:58:08 18:58 by fichamba » Logged
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