We present the results of recent failure analysis of an advanced, 0.5 um, fully planarized, triple metallization CMOS technology. A variety of failure analysis (FA) tools and techniques were used to localize and identify defects generated by wafer processing. These include light (photon) emission microscopy (LE), fluorescent microthermal imaging (FMI), focused ion beam cross sectioning, SEM/voltage contrast imaging, resistive contrast imaging (RCI), and e-beam testing using an IDS-5000 with an HP 82000. The defects identified included inter- and intra-metal shorts, gate oxide shorts due to plasma processing damage, and high contact resistance due to the contact etch and deposition process. Root causes of these defects were determined and corrective action was taken to improve yield and reliability.