Integrated Circuit (IC) Failure Analysis Services

You can have a positive integrated circuit (IC) failure analysis experience. We provide mechanical as well as electrical FA to help identify the failure mechanism. Our experience will then help identify the possible root cause. From discrete components to integrated circuits, we'll help you solve your problems.

Failure analysis of integrated circuits is essential for improving the quality of the manufacturing process and the OEM’s equipment. In the former situation, the electronics component manufacturer must be made aware of the weaknesses in the manufacturing process in order to develop means of monitoring and eliminating them.

As an OEM, knowing the potential failure mechanisms of the constituent components allows for a more robust design and good Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA).

To properly perform failure analysis, the F/A engineer must have knowledge of:

  • the component’s construction,
  • the theory of its operation,
  • the physics of possible failure mechanisms
  • proper failure analysis procedures.

In any valid failure analysis, the history of the failing component is first reviewed. This, along with any electrical test information, provides the basis for the failure analysis plan. A well-thought out plan is essential for good results and decreases the likelihood of incurring extraneous expenses for the customer.

Upon receipt of the device, the first step of the plan usually involves verifying the customer’s electrical and visual data; if the failure indicator cannot be reproduced in the lab, a successful F/A is unlikely. The next steps include the selection and use of appropriate non-destructive methods to identify or disprove theories for the possible cause of the failure. For both of these steps, it is essential to have a known good unit that functions as a standard in order to properly interpret the F/A results.

Depending upon the initial findings, the failure analyst will then use the best tools to continue the investigation. These may include any combination of:

  • Liquid crystal analysis
  • Light emission microscopy
  • Infrared inspection
  • Dye penetration
  • Electrical probing
  • Cross sectioning
  • Radiography (X-ray imaging)
  • Acoustic imaging
  • SEM inspection
  • TEM inspection
  • Deprocessing (wet and dry)
  • Surface analysis techniques (e.g., energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Auger, etc.)