Stacked-die packaging was used to make an octal 20-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) converter by stacking two quad A/D converter die in a single 48-lead QFN (quad flat-pack, no leads) package. Reliability testing for product qualification initially failed only (biased) HAST test. Two failure mechanisms were identified. The first mechanism was silver ion migration at sensitive analog inputs due to high conductive die-attach fillets on the bottom die. The second mechanism was ILD delamination and passivation layer cracking due to spacer-attach stress on the surface of the bottom die. Electrical failure analysis was aided by a self test mode designed into the quad A/D converter. Package opening and other standard failure analysis techniques required some modification to accommodate the stacked-die package. This work points to critical stacked-die assembly steps, including conductive die-attach and nonconductive spacer-attach application, where effects of moisture, bias, and thermal stress must all be considered.

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