Packaging Failure and Yield Analysis

Failure and Yield Analysis is an increasingly difficult and complex process. Today, engineers are required to locate defects on complex integrated circuits. In many ways, this is akin to locating a needle in a haystack, where the needles get smaller and the haystack gets bigger every year. Engineers are required to understand a variety of disciplines in order to effectively perform failure analysis. This requires knowledge of subjects like: design, testing, technology, processing, materials science, chemistry, and even optics! Failed devices and low yields can lead to customer returns and idle manufacturing lines that can cost a company millions of dollars a day. Your industry needs competent analysts to help solve these problems. Packaging Failure and Yield Analysis is a 3-day course that offers detailed instruction on a variety of effective tools, as well as the overall process flow for locating and characterizing the defect responsible for the failure. In this version of the course, we place additional emphasis on package-level Failure Analysis. This course is designed for every manager, engineer, and technician working in the semiconductor field, using semiconductor components or supplying tools to the industry.

By focusing on a Do It Right the First Time approach to the analysis, participants will learn the appropriate methodology to successfully locate defects, characterize them, and determine the root cause of failure.

Participants learn to develop the skills to determine what tools and techniques should be applied, and when they should be applied.

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Additional Information

For dates and locations in South East Asia, please contact us at

Refund Policy

If a course is canceled, refunds are limited to course registration fees. Registration within 21 days of the course is subject to $100 surcharge.

What Will I Learn By Taking This Class?

This skill-building series is divided into three segments:

  1. The Process of Failure and Yield Analysis. Participants learn to recognize correct philosophical principles that lead to a successful analysis. This includes concepts like destructive vs. non-destructive techniques, fast techniques vs. brute force techniques, and correct verification.
  2. The Tools and Techniques. Participants learn the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of tools used for analysis, including electrical testing techniques, package analysis tools, light emission, electron beam tools, optical beam tools, decapping and sample preparation, and surface science tools.
  3. Case Histories. Participants identify how to use their knowledge through the case histories. They learn to identify key pieces of information that allow them to determine the possible cause of failure and how to proceed.

Course Objectives

  1. The seminar will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the tools, techniques and processes used in failure and yield analysis.
  2. Participants will be able to determine how to proceed with a submitted request for analysis, ensuring that the analysis is done with the greatest probability of success.
  3. The seminar will identify the advantages and disadvantages of a wide variety of tools and techniques that are used for failure and yield analysis.
  4. The seminar offers a wide variety of video demonstrations of analysis techniques, so the analyst can get an understanding of the types of results they might expect to see with their equipment.
  5. Participants will be able to identify basic technology features on semiconductor devices.
  6. Participants will be able to identify a variety of different failure mechanisms and how they manifest themselves.
  7. Participants will be able to identify appropriate tools to purchase when starting or expanding a laboratory.

Course Outline

Day 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Failure Analysis Principles/Procedures
    1. Philosophy of Failure Analysis
    2. Flowcharts
  3. Gathering Information
  4. Package Level Testing
    1. Optical Microscopy
    2. Acoustic Microscopy
    3. X-Ray Radiography
    4. Time Domain Reflectometry
    5. Magnetic Current Imaging
    6. Lock-In Thermography
    7. Hermetic Seal Testing

Day 2

  1. Electrical Testing
    1. Basics of Circuit Operation
    2. Curve Tracer/Parameter Analyzer Operation
    3. Quiescent Power Supply Current
    4. Parametric Tests (Input Leakage, Output voltage levels, Output current levels, etc.)
    5. Timing Tests (Propagation Delay, Rise/Fall Times, etc.)
    6. Automatic Test Equipment
    7. Basics of Digital Circuit Troubleshooting
    8. Basics of Analog Circuit Troubleshooting
  2. Decapsulation/Backside Sample Preparation
    1. Mechanical Delidding Techniques
    2. Chemical and Laser Delidding Techniques
    3. Backside Sample Preparation Techniques
  3. Die Inspection
    1. Optical Microscopy
    2. Infrared Microscopy
    3. Scanning Electron Microscopy
  4. Photon Emission Microscopy Overview
    1. Mechanisms for Photon Emission
    2. Instrumentation
    3. Frontside
    4. Backside
    5. Interpretation

Day 3

  1. Electron Beam Tools Overview
    1. Voltage Contrast
      1. Passive Voltage Contrast
      2. Static Voltage Contrast
      3. Capacitive Coupled Voltage Contrast
      4. Introduction to Electron Beam Probing
    2. Electron Beam Induced Current
    3. Resistive Contrast Imaging
    4. Charge-Induced Voltage Alteration
  2. Optical Beam Tools Overview
    1. Optical Beam Induced Current
    2. Light-Induced Voltage Alteration
    3. Thermally-Induced Voltage Alteration
    4. Seebeck Effect Imaging
    5. Electro-optical Probing
  3. Thermal Detection Techniques Overview
    1. Infrared Thermal Imaging
    2. Liquid Crystal Hot Spot Detection
    3. Fluorescent Microthermal Imaging
  4. Chemical Unlayering
    1. Wet Chemical Etching
    2. Reactive Ion Etching
    3. Parallel Polishing
  5. Overview of Analytical Techniques
    1. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy
    2. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
    3. TEM, SIMS, Auger, others
  6. Focused Ion Beam Technology
    1. Physics of Operation
    2. Instrumentation
    3. Examples
    4. Gas-Assisted Etching
    5. Insulator Deposition
    6. Electrical Circuit Effects
  7. Case Histories

Instructional Strategy

By using a combination of instruction by lecture, video, and question/answer sessions, participants will learn practical approaches to the failure analysis process. From the very first moments of the seminar until the last sentence of the training, the driving instructional factor is application. We use instructors who are internationally recognized experts in their fields that have years of experience (both current and relevant) in this field. The handbook offers hundreds of pages of additional reference material the participants can use back at their daily activities.

One unique feature of this workshop is the video segments used to help train the students. Failure and Yield Analysis is a visual discipline. The ability to identify nuances and subtleties in images is critical to locating and understanding the defect. Many tools output video images that must be interpreted by analysts. No other course of this type uses this medium to help train the participants. These videos allow the analysts to directly compare material they learn in this course with real analysis work they do in their daily activities.

Instructor Profile

Christopher Henderson, President of Semitracks

Christopher Henderson

Christopher Henderson received his B.S. in Physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his M.S.E.E. from the University of New Mexico. Chris is the President and one of the founders of Semitracks Inc., a United States-based company that provides education and semiconductor training to the electronics industry.

From 1988 to 2004, Chris worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where he was a Principal Member of Technical Staff in the Failure Analysis Department and Microsystems Partnerships Department. His job responsibilities have included failure and yield analysis of components fabricated at Sandia's Microelectronics Development Laboratory, research into the electrical behavior of defects, and consulting on microelectronics issues for the DoD. He has published over 20 papers at various conferences in semiconductor processing, reliability, failure analysis, and test. He has received two R&D 100 awards and two best paper awards. Prior to working at Sandia, Chris worked for Honeywell, BF Goodrich Aerospace, and Intel. Chris is a member of IEEE and EDFAS (the Electron Device Failure Analysis Society).

At Semitracks, Chris teaches courses on failure and yield analysis, semiconductor reliability, and other aspects of semiconductor technology.