Time-Resolved Emission (TRE) is a popular technique for non-invasive acquisition of time-domain waveforms from active nodes through the backside of an integrated circuit. [1] State-of-the art TRE systems offer high bandwidths (> 5 GHz), excellent spatial resolution (0.25um), and complete visibility of all nodes on the chip. TRE waveforms are typically used for detecting incorrect signal levels, race conditions, and/or timing faults with resolution of a few ps. However, extracting the exact voltage behavior from a TRE waveform is usually difficult because dynamic photon emission is a highly nonlinear process. This has limited the perceived utility of TRE in diagnosing analog circuits. In this paper, we demonstrate extraction of voltage waveforms in passing and failing conditions from a small-swing, differential logic circuit. The voltage waveforms obtained were crucial in corroborating a theory for some failures inside an 0.18um ASIC.

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