Conventional microCTs or 3D x-ray upgrades from existing 2D x-ray systems have two major drawbacks when they are used for failure analysis of advanced packages: Insufficient resolution to image small (1 to 5 microns) materials and the lack of imaging contrast to visualize cracks, whiskers, and defects within low Z materials. This paper discusses some of the failure analysis (FA) case studies of wireless modules using a high resolution micro x-ray CT (XCT). These examples show the value of high resolution XCT as a novel approach to some common package level defects, including some interesting case examples, where failure mechanisms have been uncovered which could not have been done, using conventional means. The non-invasive FA technique for RF modules technique has been shown to dramatically improve the FA engineers' chances of identifying defects over conventional 2D x-rays and avoid the need for physical and tedious cross sectioning of these devices.

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