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Since the introduction of chip scale packages (CSPs) in the early 90s, they have continuously increased their market share due to their advantages of small form factor, cost effectiveness and PCB optimization. The reduced package size brings challenges in performing failure analysis. This article provides an overview of CSPs and their classification as well as their advantages and applications, and reveals some of the challenges in performing failure analysis on CSPs, particularly for CSPs in special package configurations such as stacked die multi-chip-packages (MCPs) and wafer level CSPs (WLCSPs). The discussion covers special requirements of CSPs such as precision decapsulation for fine ball grid array packages, accessing the failing die for MCP packages, and careful handling for WLCSP. Solutions and best practices are shared on how to overcome these challenges. The article also presents a few case studies to demonstrate how failure analysis work on CSPs can be successfully completed.

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