This paper describes the detailed process of failure analysis (FA) of a 16-bit transceiver. The FA included six steps: electronic parametric testing, visual inspection, optical beam induced resistance change to isolate failure location, SEM inspection of the breakdown, electro static discharge (ESD) root identification, and ESD test to prove the identification. FA showed that the short circuit was the result of a breakdown between the I/O resistor and the substrate, and the cause of the breakdown was most likely an ESD event. In a series of electrical over stress/ESD tests performed, the field failure signature was replicated with a MM ESD model, thereby identifying the root cause of the ESD failure.

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