As process technologies of integrated circuits become more complex and the industry moves toward flipchip packaging, present tools and techniques are having increasing difficulty in meeting failure analysis needs. One of the most common failures in these types of ICs and packages is power shorts, both during fabrication and in the field. Many techniques such as Emission Microscopy and Liquid Crystal are either not able to locate power shorts or are inhibited in their effectiveness by multiple layers of metal and flip-chip type packaging. A scanning SQUID microscope can overcome some of these difficulties. A SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) is a very sensitive magnetic sensor that can image magnetic fields generated by magnetic materials or currents (such as those in an integrated circuit). The current density distribution in the sample can then be calculated from the magnetic field image, and resolutions approaching 5 times the near field limit can be obtained. We present here the application of a SQUID microscope to physical failure analysis and compare it with other techniques to detect shorted current paths in flip-chip mounted ICs and packages.

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