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As semiconductor feature sizes have shrunk, the technology needed to encapsulate modern integrated circuits has expanded. Due to the various industry changes, package failure analyses are becoming much more challenging; a systematic approach is therefore critical. This article proposes a package failure analysis flow for analyzing open and short failures. The flow begins with a review of data on how the device failed and how it was processed. Next, non-destructive techniques are performed to document the condition of the as-received units. The techniques discussed are external optical inspection, X-ray inspection, scanning acoustic microscopy, infrared (IR) microscopy, and electrical verification. The article discusses various fault isolation techniques to tackle the wide array of failure signatures, namely IR lock-in thermography, magnetic current imaging, time domain reflectometry, and electro-optical terahertz pulse reflectometry. The final step is the step-by-step inspection and deprocessing stage that begins once the defect has been imaged.

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