Chipscanning is the high-resolution, large-area, SEM image capture of complete (or partial) IC devices. Images are acquired sequentially in matrix-array fashion over an area of interest and large image mosaics are created from the collection of smaller images. Chipscanning is of keen interest to those involved with component obsolescence, design verification, anti-counterfeiting, etc. Chipscanning, and subsequent processing of the images, can also be used to reverse engineer an IC device. The reverse engineering process can be broken down into three main tasks; sample preparation, data collection, and data processing. We present practical insight into the data collection and data processing tasks and discuss an instrument platform uniquely suited for imaging such devices.

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