Die cracking is one of the primary failure areas in semiconductor manufacturing and in product longevity. Often die cracking emanates from stress concentrations formed on chips during the dicing process. In order to properly characterize and analyze die cracking relating to the dicing process, we must first properly and accurately quantify and characterize the dicing process. This paper describes the methodology to perform this first step in a premier fashion. In the past, quantification of the dicing process has been a manual operation usually under a microscope. Now there is a new state-of-the-art metrology tool (KIS2010 Inspection System) for quantifying all parameters associated with the dicing process. The system provides computer controlled robotic inspection combined with onboard statistical data reduction software to display results. The goal of this paper is to provide other engineers working in defect and failure analysis an insight into the power of this metrology tool and how it can provide a firm basis for characterizing failures related to the dicing process.

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