Scanning laser-SQUID microscopy is a new electrical inspection and failure analysis technique that can detect open, high-resistance, and shorted interconnects without electrical contact in areas ranging in size from a few square microns to an entire die. This article describes the setup of a prototype laser-SQUID system, explaining how it works and how it compares to other nondestructive defect localization techniques. It presents application examples in which laser-SQUID microscopy is used to locate gate oxide shorts to within 1.3 μm and detect IC defects prior to bond-pad pattering and after bonding and packaging. It also includes a series of images acquired from a board-mounted chip with fields of view ranging from 5 x 5 mm down to 50 x 50 μm.

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