For VLSI, internal electrical measurements are key steps to solve design debug issues and to perform failure analysis. Due to multiple metal layers, active areas of the chip are only accessible from the backside of the die. The ability of optical contactless techniques to operate through the silicon substrate and the few sample preparation required have widely contributed to promote them as unavoidable tools of the defect localization workflow. Timing issue or unusual consumption can be detected by static and dynamic photon emission analysis. The identification of the emission spots is an essential step of the process. Due to scaling, more and more emission nodes are located within the acquisition area so that large variations of emission intensity can exist. Because of various limitations, former thresholding techniques cannot ensure an exhaustive localization. In this paper, an automated process is reported to locate spots in these complex areas. We will underline the challenge and define application boundaries of this technique.

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