Products are designed with the intent that they function properly and safely for its expected lifetime. In the real-world, however, IC device failure does occur whether a flaw in design, variation during the manufacturing process, misuse of the product or a variety of other reasons. When a product fails to perform as expected, it is in the manufacturer’s best interest to initiate an investigation as to the root cause of why it failed. Determining the root cause through semiconductor failure mode analysis provides valuable data in preventing a future device failure occurrence which in turn improves the performance of the product; this not only leads to greater financial benefits to the producer, but also increases satisfaction and greater safety for the user.
“Failure analysis” is the process of gathering and analyzing data so that a cause of failure can be determined through product failure analysis. Numerous tools and techniques play a role throughout the IC failure analysis process. The individual (often a failure analysis engineer) leading the analysis must recognize those techniques which are non-destructive or destructive in nature, particularly if only one example of a failure is available for analysis. In the electronics industry procedures such as Decapsulation, Metallographic Cross-Sectioning, and Scanning Acoustical Microscopy (CSAM) are examples of destructive techniques in comparison to X-ray Imaging, Optical Microscopy, and others which are considered non-destructive. The engineering failure analysis expertise at Silicon Cert Laboratories has the experience to perform the analysis and the knowledge to recognize the most applicable and effective tools/techniques, from both a time-wise and a cost-standpoint. Contact SCL, your semiconductor failure analysis laboratory, to discuss your semiconductor device analysis needs.