Abstract

The idea behind Destructive Semiconductor Reverse Engineering (DSRE) is to investigate a device in part or as a whole using many of the techniques employed in the physical failure analysis (PFA) field. The device is usually examined for intellectual property/patent protection or competitive analysis purposes. This paper presents a technique for the full layer-by-layer deprocessing of a single semiconductor device using purely mechanical polishing for DSRE or FA. It describes a step-by-step method developed by Raw Science/Datel Design and Development and Gatan for the reliable, purely mechanical deprocessing of individual dice. The paper presents the two modifications made to the process to virtually eliminate the edge effects. A computer controlled mechanical polishing system coupled with a unique customized process allows for the investigation of those one of a kind samples as a whole with 100% success rate.

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