Failure Analysis (FA)

Failure Analysis

MPI Definition

Root cause identification of failing devices (e.g. field returns or new designs) is essential for all semiconductor manufacturers and design houses.

Especially complex failure analysis such as failure of open/floating signal net in IC devices is done by electrical micro-probing measurements by net signal tracing. Upon failure localization requires focused ion beam (FIB) depositing of so called “mini-pads” (e.g. 5 x 5 µm).

Failure localization with typical hot spot and emission analysis is another appropriate method for defect identification.
The physical failure analysis based on submicron probing or on SEM, TEM, EDX, AFM tools is not part of MPI consideration.

Major Requirements

There are several major fragments in this process:

  • Verification of electrical, functional failure based on leakage or simple open/short measurements
  • Internal node micro-probing on “mini pads”, by using high-impedance Picoprobes
  • The navigation to the “mini pads” (which could be in the thousands inside complex ICs) is a challenge
  • The IC is fired-up by probe cards and the micro-probing has to be done via several single probes simultaneously
  • Such probe cards are usually customized and very often very long (>13”) by containing active components, close to DUT
  • Failure localization with typical hot spot and emission analysis
  • Laser cutting for open passivation or cutting metallization layers or lines
  • Micro-motion analysis is one additional set of measurements on wafer level, specifically related to MEMS devices
  • 10 kV test environment for failure analysis on high power devices
  • Optics with high optical resolving powers are required

MPI Solutions

MPI Test Solutions for FA applications come with everything needed to achieve accurate measurement results in the shortest time, with maximum confidence. The highly stable Engineering Probe Systems and highly accurate MicroPositioners provides best solution for electrical failure verification, localization and debugging. With the vibration isolated environment and wide zoom & high magnification microscopes provide the ability to probe the structure as small as one micron.


MPI TS3000 probe systems, offer uniquely the simultaneous use of probe cards and MicroPositioners (DUT driving & internal signal measurements), especially at temperatures down to negative 60°C.

The low platen to chuck distance makes the Picoprobing very convenient.


The unique MPI Laser Cutter System LCS-635 is designed for accurate and reliable Failure Analysis and variable configurations based on 1064 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm or 266 nm wavelengths provides the capability to remove several semiconductor materials and metals selectively.


MPI Engineering Probe Systems are easily configured with emission microscopes such as from Hamamatsu Photonics Japan to detect and localize the IC failures. In addition, the TS150/TS200-HP probe systems are the ideal choice for the equivalent analysis of High Power devices up to 10 kV and 600 A.


Field Application Engineer

Job Location: San Jose, CA

Job Duties:

  • Assist in developing HW and SW measurement methodologies/solutions for analytical wafer probe solutions with signal applications from DC to millimeter wave frequencies as well as Silicon Photonics (SiPH);
  • Collaborate with customers on their measurement challenges, and provide applications specific product training;
  • Provide pre- and post-sale support to AST, customers, service department, and the sales channel developing HW and SW measurement solutions for analytical wafer probe stations;
  • Define application-specific solutions based on customer-provided device data and facilitate both customer and divisional teams to successful results;
  • Perform product training seminars for customer and sales channels as well as participate in trade shows and technical seminars;
  • Make recommendations regarding product improvement, new products, and quality enhancement;
  • Author, document, publish, and present measurement solutions via Seminars, Applications Notes, Briefs, and White Papers;
  • Prepare, plan, and assist with customer product demonstrations that highlight value-based differentiation of AST product offerings;
  • Develop unique and individual customer presentations designed to professionally position the MPI brand in the North American market and deliver formal presentations to customers.

Job Requirements:

Master’s degree in Electrical Eng., Electronics Eng., Physics, or Photonics; Must possess 6 months of relevant work experience; Travel to customers’ sites in US and headquarters in Taiwan is required.

Send resume to: MPI America, Inc., 2360 Qume Drive, Suite C, San Jose, CA 95131, Attn: Janet Chiang