Failure Analysis

At Intech Technologies, we offer these comprehensive failure analysis services to ensure the highest quality of semiconductor products. Our expertise in these areas allows us to assist clients in identifying and addressing potential issues, improving product performance, and enhancing overall customer satisfaction.

Non Destructive Failure Analysis

External Visual Inspection:

External Visual Inspection (EVI) stands as a vital and non-destructive method at the forefront of failure analysis. As the first line of defense, it is paramount in detecting possible performance or integrity issues within a component. Intech Technologies uses high-tech optical tools to conduct meticulous visual inspections, searching surface attributes for signs of abnormalities, damage, or irregularities. This includes cracks, colour changes, misalignment, and signs of thermal or chemical harm.

The technique serves not only as a diagnostic tool but as a way of documenting the component’s original condition, as well as handling or storage issues that might be contributing factors to the failure. What sets EVI apart is its non-destructive quality, preserving the component for future investigations and ensuring no potential evidence is unintentionally distorted or lost. The Intech Technologies’ team of experts has refined their skills to spot even the most subtle signs of potential problems. Combined with our advanced optical technology, we provide thorough, exact, and trustworthy results. In turn, our EVI service offers an informed pathway to diagnosis, corrective action, and mitigation strategies.

Optical Microscope showing Edge Chipping and Die crack
showing package cracks-external optical inspection
IV curve showing short failure

Curve Tracing (Open Shot Testing on IO):

Curve tracing, or open/short testing on IO, is a complex and reliable method used by Intech Technologies. This non-destructive method involves tracking the electrical behavior of integrated circuits (ICs) over diverse voltage or current values. The trace of the IC is compared with a known good device to identify any anomalies or deviations.

These irregularities in the curves can provide pivotal clues about the nature of the defect, which can include open circuits, short circuits, or performance variations. Intech Technologies deploys cutting-edge equipment to carry out curve tracing, enabling us to precisely identify and isolate failures. Our technicians, skilled in interpreting these curves, amalgamate their profound knowledge with the data to ascertain possible failure mechanisms. This method’s advantage is its non-invasiveness, preserving the component for further testing if needed. Thus, curve tracing provides a valuable tool for diagnosing and addressing component failures, reducing downtime and expenses for our clients.

X-ray Analysis:

Intech Technologies’ non-destructive testing services significantly hinge on X-ray analysis. This potent technique permits our experts to delve into the interior structure of electronic components, uncovering concealed defects that are often imperceptible with other methods. Our advanced X-ray apparatus can detect a multitude of defects, including solder bridging, voids, alignment discrepancies, and fractures within the internal layers of the component.

X-ray analysis proves especially valuable when inspecting complex structures, like solder joints or PCB’s intricate layers. It is also crucial for inspecting encapsulated or sealed units, which otherwise require destructive testing methods. By merging this superior technology with our profound understanding of component design and manufacturing processes, we can accurately interpret the X-ray images and offer precise, comprehensive reports on the issues detected. Thus, our X-ray analysis service is instrumental in quality assurance processes, helping customers maintain top-tier standards and avert expensive component failures.

X ray analysis
Flip Chip Bond view
hot spot on the die

Hot Spot Analysis:

Recognizing that excess heat within electronic components can trigger catastrophic failures, Intech Technologies provides hot spot analysis as part of our exhaustive non-destructive testing services. This method involves infrared cameras and thermal imaging technology to monitor and record the temperature profile of an electronic device in operation. ‘Hot spots,’ or areas of unexpectedly high heat emission, often signify problems such as overcurrent conditions, inadequate cooling, or design flaws.

Early identification of these issues can conserve valuable resources and prevent damage or system failure. Our experts adeptly interpret thermal images and highlight areas of concern. By correlating their expertise with the data, they can detect even minor temperature deviations, which could signal potential issues. Therefore, our hot spot analysis service not only identifies existing problems but provides a proactive approach to forestalling future issues.

Confocal Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (CSAM):

CSAM is an advanced non-destructive testing method in the arsenal of Intech Technologies. By deploying sound waves, it can create a detailed image of a sample’s internal composition. This is particularly useful for analyzing layered materials and IC packaging, providing unique insights into internal characteristics without causing any damage.

With CSAM, we can reveal concealed defects such as delamination, voids, or cracks. These faults, often undetectable by other analysis techniques, can cause premature failure of the component. CSAM generates high-resolution 3D images that unveil these problems, offering an in-depth comprehension of the sample’s internal layout. Our team of seasoned technicians possesses the necessary acumen and experience to interpret these images accurately, allowing them to provide trustworthy, detailed reports. Thus, with CSAM, Intech Technologies ensures superior quality and reliability, enhancing the longevity and performance of electronic products.

Die Crack samples

Destructive Failure Analysis - After Package Decapsulation

Chemical Decapsulation:

A cornerstone in semiconductor devices’ failure analysis and reliability testing, chemical decapsulation offers a pathway into integrated circuits (ICs) by removing their protective coverings. This process unveils the die and wire bonds, paving the way to investigate defects or failure modes invisible from the outside. Throughout the decapsulation, we employ an array of chemical etchants to dissolve the epoxy mold compound or alternative protective substances without harming the components beneath.

Following decapsulation, we conduct exhaustive inspections and analyses using microscopy techniques. Typical defects identified through chemical decapsulation encompass issues with wire bonds, die attach problems, delamination, voids, corrosion, and contamination. These insights are indispensable for determining failure’s root causes, refining design, and bolstering product reliability.

View of die scratches on the Surface
Al smearing on bond pads

Optical Microscope-Driven Internal Visual Inspection:

Our service of internal visual inspection involves probing into the structural intricacies of semiconductor devices, facilitated by state-of-the-art optical microscopes. With the power of high-resolution imaging, we can non-destructively examine the die, wire bonds, and other IC internal components. This procedure enables us to detect defects such as cracks, voids, wire lift-offs, die attach issues, and other potential failure mechanisms.

Internal Visual Inspection Using Microscope and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM):

We enhance our inspection capabilities by utilizing the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) alongside optical microscopy, for even more detailed analysis. The SEM affords us highly-detailed, nanoscale images of semiconductor structures, making it possible to spot sub-micron defects and failure sites. This service supplements the optical microscope inspection and is crucial in identifying problems related to metal interconnects, contamination, and material defects.

image showing Au Ball bond touching each other causing short failure