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With a variety of test equipment pieces available at their fingertips, semiconductor failure analysis services may very well be considered modern day, high-tech “surgeons.” In the semiconductor industry, product lines are a manufacturer’s lifeblood. When a product line is “frozen” for a product defect, semiconductor failure analysis becomes the necessary problem-solving tool to “unfreeze” the line. A failure analysis performed accurately and rapidly ultimately saves a manufacturer time, money, and a precious thing known as reputation.

Semiconductor failures may be caused by a variety of problems ranging from materials to processes or tool issues. An effective semiconductor failure analysis solves problems quickly and is able to provide manufacturers with the necessary information to prevent the failure from recurring.

A non-destructive failure analysis is frequently a method performed on integrated circuit boards, but is also useful in semiconductor failure analysis to determine failures without causing overall damage.

Scanning Acoustic Microscopy is a non-destructive failure analysis method that measures the reflection and absorption rates of sound waves. This method is effective in the semiconductor industry because of its ability to analyze or measure a product without causing damage. In the hands of a skilled failure analysis surgeon, SAM can determine stress cracks and material defects in semiconductor products.

As each new semiconductor generation is unveiled, we see how important selective layer removal has become. Dry deprocessing failure analysis provides the “surgeon” the proper tool to etch away specific layers without disturbing product metallization. This failure analysis tool can pinpoint processes or process steps that require specific adjustments.

There are many failure analysis services available that have poor surgical skills and/or are lacking the correct tools to accomplish the job. When selecting your next failure analysis surgeon, make sure to choose a professional, proven semiconductor failure analysis firm that increases your chances for long term growth and success.