Advances in electronic packaging are fueled by the insatiable appetite that consumers have for bandwidth in mobile appliances. The technological answer to this demand is increase the interconnect count and shrink the pitch, solder volume and height. The features of interest and the defects in these packages are becoming increasingly smaller. Consequently, the characterization of these defects becomes more challenging due to the smaller size and new material structures. New package structures must pass the JEDEC standard tests and a critical part of qualifying new packages as products is proper identification of the root cause of failures. Therefore, innovative solutions to correct the fundamental problems in the development process enable new package solutions to be brought to the market. In this paper we describe an alternative failure analysis workflow involving X-ray microscopy which offers several advantages over standard imaging techniques. The nondestructive nature of x-ray microscopy enables engineers to image parts throughout the entire environmental stress cycle for more accurate determination of the root cause of failures. Additionally, a larger number of interconnects may be sampled, defect isolation in z direction for stacked die packages is made easier and subsequent imaging techniques may be used to complement the data. Both 3 dimensional images of defects as well as 2 dimensional cross sections will be shown to effectively analyze the true root cause of failures.

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