Engineers at IBM’s Watson Research Center are contending with one of the most fundamental limitations of imaging technology: the tradeoff between spatial resolution and field of view. In this article, they explain how they created tool interfaces, control and automation software, and image analysis and stitching algorithms, enabling photon emission and laser scanning microscopes to produce high-resolution mosaic images of advanced processor cores and other large-area ICs. They describe some of the challenges they faced and explain how their technology can be used to create images based on reflected light, induced voltage, photon emission, and laser stimulation signatures. In one of the latest demonstrations, the technology was used to land and focus a SIL more than 4000 times, acquiring some 16,000 images that were composed into stitched mosaics of several hundred images each.

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