Microcircuit Reliability Characterization
With component densities doubling each year, semiconductor microcircuits present a particularly difficult challenge, in terms of characterizing their reliability. Conventional reliability analysis procedures are inadequate, and new test methods and instrumentation must be developed. The reliability physics approach to reliability characterization is discussed; it is concerned with developing a thorough understanding of the basic failure mechanisms in these devices, and how they proceed with time and stress. The mathematical models for this approach are reviewed. Also described is the use of the models in developing screening tests to “screen out” a particular failure mechanism, and tests to accelerate a particular mechanism to cause device failure. Typical microcircuit failure mechanisms are described as well as use of instruments, such as the scanning electron microscope and mass spectrometer, to develop a thorough understanding of the failure mechanisms, in order to perform a complete reliability characterization of the device. The evolution of microcircuit technology, and the need for increasingly complex and sophisticated failure analysis tools and procedures to characterize the reliability of microprocessors and large scale integrated circuits are reviewed. New trends and requirements for failure analysis are discussed in terms of where we are and where we have to go. Finally, the concept of “reverse engineering” is presented as the appraoch of the 1980s to microcircuit reliability characterization.
KeywordsFailure Analysis Reverse Engineering Large Scale Integrate Reliability Characterization Microelectronic Circuit
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