The Chip-Off or EMMC-Direct Data Recovery Method

For Android & Windows Devices Only.

board-crackLet’s say your device is thoroughly dead, not just dead, but dead-dead. You might assume that everything in the internal memory died with it, but that’s not always the case! Even if your device’s logic board was sheared in half, corroded by salt water and cursed by a death ritual, chances are the embedded memory is still intact.
So don’t lose hope just yet. There’s a process by which we can revive your data, we won’t need your first-born or even candles, just 7 to 14 days and $249 (+ tax in WA).

The process involves physically extracting the embedded memory chip(s) from the board and using special equipment to read the data.

underfill removal
First the chip must be freed from the logic board. The chip is hermetically sealed to the board with a tough epoxy called underfill. The underfill has to be cut away and dissolved with boiling dimethylformamide before the chip can be de-soldered.

BGA solder balls
The EMMC (embedded multimedia card) is a ball grid array (BGA) type chip which means there are hundreds of pads on the underside that connect to the logic board with tiny balls of solder. De-soldering the chip requires special machines and precise temperature control. The whole board is preheated and the solder is melted with an infrared laser.

EMMC Pinout
Once fully removed we must determine all of the data and ground pads, and what voltages are needed for the chip to operate. EMMCs require two different precise voltages to operate.

soldering to EMMC chip
We use a microscope, a very sharp soldering tip and a steady hand to connect the 60-micrometer copper wires (that’s 40 micrometers thinner than a human hair) to the necessary pads and then to a special emulator capable of interfacing with the chip.

In CSI: Miami, the data from a device is acquired in a 10-second scene with their laser-beams, precision robotics and flashing diodes. Moments later, the data is revealed, and on huge screen, decoded and organized with all of the suspect’s deleted pictures and messages in their original quality.

Unfortunately this is not reality. Though, minus the flashing diodes, we are getting there. We make constant advancements in our decoding software, equipment and techniques. However, in many cases, such deep access and recovery of the physical memory data results in a pile of hex data that we have to manually carve through and decode.

For this reason, our typical turnaround is 7-14 days.

If the fate of the western world hangs in the balance and it absolutely positively must be done immediately, a while-you-wait appointment can be arranged.

Our rate to perform chip-off data recovery is $249.

We offer USB flash drives and return shipping for a small fee.