Lock-out chip

Lock-out chip

In a general sense, a lock-out chip is a chip within an electronic device to prevent other manufacturers from using a company's device to perform certain functions.

The most famous example is the lock-out chip found in Nintendo's Nintendo Entertainment System, known also as the CIC (see also 10NES), designed to prevent "unlicensed" manufacturers from creating games for the console. The presence of the chip forced unlicensed companies to raise the price of each cartridge (due to a bypass chip having to be added to the cartridge), and allowed Nintendo a foothold for a lawsuit.

Various methods were published on the Internet for disabling the lockout chip, either by applying a high or negative voltage or by cutting and/or grounding one of the pins.

See also

*Vendor lock-in and lock-out


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