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Failure Analysis - Electrical

Electrical analysis is critical to the success of most failure analysis work. In order to diagnose a problem with an integrated circuit one must be able to first reproduce the electrical failure mode, and second develop a simplified electrical test that will enable analysis using various techniques. This workspace covers basic device operation, curve tracer use, automatic test equipment, and electrical characteristics associated with trapped charge and mobile ionic contamination. It also covers techniques for troubleshooting a variety of microelectronic circuits including digital logic, memories, microprocessors and microcontrollers, and analog circuits. Finally, this section covers tools that can be used to automate the process of troubleshooting.

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Electrical Testing

Electrical testing is an integral part of product analysis activities. Most failures or problems manifest themselves as an incorrect electrical condition. This means that the analyst must be able to properly exercise the component to activate the defective condition. Once the defect can be activated, it can be further characterized to help determine the nature of the defect. An electrical condition can give clues as to the cause of the problem. Some troubleshooting techniques work intimately with electrical testing. These include defect localization techniques such as light emission and voltage contrast. Some of the electrical testing concepts that an analyst should be familiar with include: basics of circuit operation, curve tracer/semiconductor parameter analyzer operation, digital troubleshooting, analog troubleshooting, quiescent power supply current, and test equipment. Many of these topics are also covered in the test portion of our website.


Basic Circuit Electrical Behavior

Electrical Testing - Electrical Properties of Defects

Electrical Testing - IDDQ and Test Equipment

Electrical Testing - Bakes

Software Aids

Quiz: Electrical Testing


Electrical Testing



Microprobing with an Evaluation Board


This course contains material related to troubleshooting integrated circuits. Troubleshooting is an important part of the failure analysis process, and it is also critical for design debug activities. It covers digital integrated circuit troubleshooting techniques, analog integrated circuit troubleshooting techniques, basic microprocessor troubleshooting techniques, and memory troubleshooting techniques.


DAC-ADC Troubleshooting

Analog Troubleshooting

Digital Troubleshooting

Memory Troubleshooting

Microprocessor Troubleshooting

Basic ATPG Diagnosis

Quiz: Troubleshooting


Basic ATPG Diagnosis




Troubleshooting Certificate

Curve Tracer

This section describes the use of a Curve Tracer/Semiconductor Parameter Analyzer for Failure Analysis. The material covers the examination of I/O structures and how to operate these instruments.


Curve Tracer - Part 1

Curve Tracer - Part 2

Curve Tracer - Part 3

Curve Tracer - Part 4

Curve Tracer Quiz




Curve Tracer: Examining a High Pin Count Device