Integration of circuits on semiconductor devices with resulting increase in pin counts is driving the need for improvements in packaging for functionality and reliability. One solution to this demand is the Flip- Chip concept in Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI) applications [1]. The flip-chip technology is based on the direct attach principle of die to substrate interconnection.. The absence of bondwires clearly enables packages to become more slim and compact, and also provides higher pin counts and higher-speeds [2]. However, due to its construction, with inherent hidden structures the Flip-Chip technology presents a challenge for non-destructive Failure Analysis (F/A). The scanning acoustic microscope (SAM) has recently emerged as a valuable evaluation tool for this purpose [3]. C-mode scanning acoustic microscope (C-SAM), has the ability to demonstrate non-destructive package analysis while imaging the internal features of this package. Ultrasonic waves are very sensitive, particularly when they encounter density variations at surfaces, e.g. variations such as voids or delaminations similar to air gaps. These two anomalies are common to flip-chips. The primary issue with this package technology is the non-uniformity of the die attach through solder ball joints and epoxy underfill. The ball joints also present defects as open contacts, voids or cracks. In our acoustic microscopy study packages with known defects are considered. It includes C-SCAN analysis giving top views at a particular package interface and a B-SCAN analysis that provides cross-sectional views at a desired point of interest. The cross-section analysis capability gives confidence to the failure analyst in obtaining information from a failing area without physically sectioning the sample and destroying its electrical integrity. Our results presented here prove that appropriate selection of acoustic scanning modes and frequency parameters leads to good reliable correlation between the physical defects in the devices and the information given by the acoustic microscope.

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