Abstract

Random Telegraph Signal (RTS), also described as popcorn noise in semiconductor analog circuits occurs when there is a sudden step in threshold voltage for a MOSFET or sudden step in base current for a bipolar transistor. The causes of popcorn noise can be process-related in semiconductor manufacturing. This paper presents a nanoprobe analysis methodology that was able to detect popcorn noise issues in discrete transistors causing analog circuit failure. The results presented for two different devices obtained similar results proving that the analysis methodology is viable for detecting popcorn noise issues in semiconductor MOSFET transistors. From a failure analysis perspective, the purpose of this paper is to provide the ability and a methodology to detect a signal that differentiates a failing transistor (popcorn noise) from a non-failing transistor (no popcorn noise). In this regard, the ability to obtain these results was not only unexpected but also very successful.

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