The visual nature of Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) makes it a very natural technology that can assist with fault location in BGA packages, which typically have complex interweaving layouts that make standard failure analysis techniques, such as acoustic imaging and X-ray, less effective and more difficult to utilize. This article discusses the use of TDR for package failure analysis work. It analyzes in detail the TDR impedance deconvolution algorithm as applicable to electronic packaging fault location work, focusing on the opportunities that impedance deconvolution and the resulting true impedance profile opens up for such work. The article examines the TDR measurement accuracy and the comparative package failure analysis, and presents three main considerations for package failure analysis. It also touches upon the goal and the task of the failure analysts and TDR's specific signatures for the open and short connections.

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