In time domain reflectometry (TDR), the main emphasis lies on the reflected waveform. Poor probing contact is one of the common problems in getting an accurate waveform. TDR probe normalization is essential before measuring any TDR waveforms. The advantages of normalization include removal of test setup errors in the original test pulse and the establishment of a measurement reference plane. This article presents two case histories. The first case is about a Plastic Ball Grid Array package consisting of 352 solder balls where the open failure mode was encountered at various terminals after reliability assessment. In the second, a three-digit display LED suspected of an electrical short failure was analyzed using TDR as a fault isolation tool. TDR has been successfully used to perform non-destructive fault isolation in assisting the routine failure analysis of open and short failure. It is shown to be accurate and reduces the time needed to identify fault locations.

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