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Electrical failure analysis is the key to reducing liability and associated costs to your electronics business. In essence, electronic failure analysis is high-tech damage control and at the end of the day, your customers will thank you. However, if left unchecked, the slightest change in engineering, materials, and/or processes can cause ripple effects throughout your supply chain, setting a company back weeks in engineering time and thousands of dollars in materials and lost revenue.


Many failures often go unnoticed by the naked eye or even by some of the more advanced electron microscopes on the market. Experienced failure analysis services using Light Emission Microscopy (LEM) are able to deduce failures based on emitted photon radiation from a defective site. This analysis provides important information such as structural weakness, flawed materials, or process/tool problems.

Severity and Occurrence

One of the first things to look for in a failure analysis is the severity of the failure – the second is occurrence. In an IC board, this may be a component level analysis noting distorted elements, a circuit short, or material corrosion. Is the failure an anomaly? Semiconductor manufacturers experience irregularities in specific processes or process steps especially when there is a material change. One of the best practices for failure analysis in the industry is Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (SAM). The SAM is a non-destructive method used to detect material issues and structural weaknesses in circuit boards and semiconductors.

Electronic failure analysis companies are not new to the electronics industry. However, the proper failure analysis service can be your company’s best friend or worst enemy. Reliability, market expertise, fast turnaround, and a wide range of services should all be considered when selecting your company’s next failure analysis service. Ultimately, your revenue and reputation are at stake – so make this choice really count!