The Product Analysis Forum (PAF), sponsored by the Quality Council of SEMATECH, has been chartered to facilitate the ongoing development of tools and techniques for semiconductor characterization and failure analysis. Drawing on input from industry experts, universities, and national laboratories, the PAF has identified critical needs in three areas: software fault isolation, backside fault isolation, and deprocessing & inspection. This article discusses the current state of deprocessing and inspection technology and provides insights into how some of the future challenges will be addressed.

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