Questions about checking free hardware

Paul Hänsch paul at
Fri Sep 18 17:32:14 UTC 2015

On 2015-09-16 11:47, Paul van der Vlis wrote:
> When somebody would make a free processor, would it be possible to do
> that in such a way that it's possible to check that the hardware is
> the working-out of the drawings?

Not so much my field but I'd say a precondition would be that you can 
produce a digitalised photographic (/holographic) representation of the 
chip you hold in your hands. To analyse multilayered chips you would 
grind them down in the process.

Or maybe you can image them in some kind of MRI...? Then you could at 
least match your chip against the image of a prototype. Can a 
microprocessor survive the MRI process? Are MRI resolutions high enough 
to make the structures visible, at least for past generation chips? Are 
the materials in the processor suitable to produce a clear image?

At least MRIs are getting more and more common. Maybe someone on the 
list has experience in working with one.

Just a funny idea.
Paul Hänsch                     █▉            Webmaster, System-Hacker
Jabber: paul at    ▉▉     Free Software Foundation Europe
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