The migration to smaller geometries has translated to an increase in the number of transistors possible in each integrated circuit. Failure analysis of such complex circuits presents a major challenge to the semiconductor industry and is a driving force behind the considerable interest in nondestructive, cost-efficient, “shortcut” fault isolation techniques. In this paper, we present the application of thermal-induced voltage alteration (TIVA) for failure analysis of 0.11µm technology memory devices and demonstrate the key aspects of this technique. The back side TIVA results are compared with analysis performed using back side emission microscopy (EMMI), and the limitations of EMMI are highlighted. The advantages and limitations of the TIVA technique are also discussed.

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