Magnetic current imaging (MCI) using superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) and giant-magnetoresistive (GMR) sensors is an effective method for localizing defects and current paths [1]. The spatial resolution (and sensitivity) of MCI is improved significantly when the sensor is as close as possible to the current paths and associated magnetic fields of interest. This is accomplished in part by nondestructive removal of any intervening passive layers (e.g. silicon) in the sample. This paper will present a die backside contour-milling process resulting in an edge-to-edge remaining silicon thickness (RST) of < 5 microns, followed by a backside GMR-based MCI measurement performed directly on the ultra-thin silicon surface. The dramatic improvement in resolving current paths in an ESD protect circuit is shown as is nanometer scale resolution of a current density peak due to a power supply shortcircuit defect at the edge of a flip-chip packaged die.

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