Researchers have developed an imaging technique that reveals wiring defects in packaged ICs without requiring decapsulation. The sensing mechanism is based on resistance changes, similar to IR-OBIRCH, but instead of an IR beam, the metal conductors in the chip are heated by ultrasonic waves. This article describes the basic principles of ultrasonic beam induced resistance change (SOBIRCH) imaging and demonstrates its effectiveness in a wide range of applications, including multilayer metal stacks.

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