A failure analysis application utilizing scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) and time domain reflectometry (TDR) for failure analysis has been developed to isolate broken stitch bonds in thin shrink small outline package (TSSOP) devices. Open circuit failures have occurred in this package due to excessive bending of the leads during assembly. The tools and their specific application to this technique as well as the limitations of C-SAM, TDR and radiographic analyses are discussed. By coupling C-SAM and TDR, a failure analyst can confidently determine whether the cause of an open circuit in a TSSOP package is located at the stitch bond. The root cause of the failure was determined to be abnormal mechanical stress placed on the pins during the lead forming operation. While C-SAM and TDR had proven useful in the analysis of TSSOP packages, it can potentially be expanded to other wire-bonded packages.

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