Global thinning is a technique that enables backside failure analysis and radiation testing. In some devices, it can also lead to increased thresholds for single-event latchup and upset. In this study, we examine the impacts of global thinning on 28 nm node FPGAs. Test devices are thinned to 50, 10, and 3 μm via CNC milling. Lattice damage, in the form of dislocations, extends about 1 μm below the surface, but is removed by polishing with colloidal SiO2. As shown by finite-element modeling, thinning increases compressive global stress in the Si while solder bumps (in flip-chip packages) increase stress locally. The results are confirmed by stress measurements obtained through Raman spectroscopy, although more complex models are needed to account for nonlinear effects in devices thinned to 3 μm and heated to 125°C. Thermal imaging shows that increased local heating occurs with increased thinning, but the maximum temperature difference across the 3-μm die is less than 2°C. Ring oscillators throughout the FPGA fabric slow about 0.5% after thinning and another 0.5% when heated to 125°C, which is attributed to stress changes in the Si.

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