SEMICON West took place July 10-12 in the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA.
July 16, 2012 -- The buzz at SEMICON West 2012 was all about the exciting future of 450mm wafer inspection systems. In the midst of the talk about these technological successes, a quieter, yet persistent, trend in Moscone Center’s North Hall was all about failure.
But it’s not what you might be thinking.
The SEMICON West attendees in the Test and Packaging section were interested in failure analysis -- specifically, ways to more easily detect and quantify solder joint fractures on BGA packages.
Inspectors in semiconductor manufacturing labs and process yield improvement groups use sophisticated systems to find electrical irregularities and imperfections caused by solder joint fractures.
Detecting BGA joint fractures can help improve yields for microprocessors, memory, and telecommunication devices. Left undetected, these tiny anomalies can result in catastrophic system-level failures. Electrical connectivity of the device will be compromised if the fracture is too large, or covering too much of the BGA.
|Figure 1. 3D image captured using the Olympus DSX500 before color enhancement.|
A common way of identifying one of these imperfections is to inject the part with red dye. The dye seeps into any existing fractures. The amount of dye present is indicative to the size and type of fracture, directly relating to the performance of the device or, ultimately, part failure.
At Olympus, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about image analysis and how to provide a simple, yet effective, way to quantify the amount of dye present in each BGA. Our brainstorming led us to incorporate a color enhancement image-processing algorithm into our new DSX Series Opto-Digital Microscopy System. The color enhancement algorithm is a key tool for failure analysis applications.
The DSX industrial microscopes, which we demoed at SEMICON West for the first time, use leading-edge digital technology, touchscreen operating simplicity, and a higher level of reliability than other scopes.
|Figure 2. Same BGA after color enhancement on the live image using the DSX500. The two BGA balls in the center are intact and the other show signs of fracture, indicated by the red dye.|
Using the DSX’s color enhancement algorithm on live images, the user can isolate the red dye from the background colors. Fractures, if any exist, are nearly impossible to miss. This allows the use of phase analysis to quantify the percentage of dye on a single BGA. The use of this type of analysis provides customers with the ability to make actionable decisions based on the data provided.
When we reviewed this dye infiltration technique with our SEMICON West booth visitors, and demonstrated the enhancement process on our new equipment, they were amazed at how pronounced the fractures appeared. Overall, the attendees we met said they were surprised at how quickly the process allowed imperfections to be isolated and identified, representing a time-saving and productivity-boosting application for the DSX.
Jennifer Wrigley, product manager, Olympus America Inc, Scientific Equipment Group and Robert Bellinger, pplication engineer, Olympus America Inc., Scientific Equipment Group, may be contacted at http://www.olympus-ims.com/.
Wrigley is a seasoned technical marketing and sales professional of industrial instrumentation with nearly nine years of experience. Currently, she is responsible for the promotion, technical definition and marketing of Olympus microscopes and wafer handlers for the semiconductor industry and OEM partnerships.
Bellinger has eight years of experience with Olympus providing advanced application support, hardware customization and training for the industrial microscopy and metrology group. Rob has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from DeVry University.