Failure and Yield Analysis

Millions of dollars wasted. Lost competitive advantage. Idle manufacturing lines and customer frustrations.

These are the all-too-common consequences of semiconductor failures. In today's economy, competent failure analysts are vital to solve these problems before their companies suffer the repercussions. However, as circuits grow more and more complicated, engineers can easily find themselves entangled in a semiconductor "labyrinth" -- searching for a microscopic failure among millions of transistors. With the wide spectrum of available analysis tools and the ever-decreasing probability of defect discovery, failure analysis can quickly become overwhelming even for the experienced analyst.

The solution: Failure and Yield Analysis, a 4-day course that covers effective analysis tools and presents systematic process flows that simplify defect localization and characterization. By focusing on a "Do it Right the First Time" approach, the class will give you the appropriate methodology to successfully locate and characterize defects to determine the root cause of failure.

Register for this Course

Course Dates | Location

March 4-7, 2024 | Munich, Germany

(Price available until Mon. Feb. 12.)

1-Year Online Training Subscription

(Includes this and other materials.)




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Please note: If you or your company plan to pay by wire transfer, you will be charged a wire transfer fee of USD 45.00.

Please email the printable registration form for public courses to us at the email address on the form to complete your order.

Additional Information

If you have any questions concerning this course, please contact us at

Refund Policy

If a course is canceled, refunds are limited to course registration fees. Registration within 21 days of the course is subject to $100 surcharge.

Can't attend this course in person due to work schedule or lack of travel budget? An online version of this course is available in our Online Training System! Learn more about our Online Training System.

What Will I Learn By Taking This Class?

This skill-building series is divided into three segments.

  1. The Process of Failure and Yield Analysis. Participants learn to recognize correct philosophical principles that lead to a successful analysis. This includes concepts like destructive vs. non-destructive techniques, fast techniques vs. brute force techniques, and correct verification.
  2. The Tools and Techniques. Participants learn the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of tools used for analysis, including electrical testing techniques, package analysis tools, light emission, electron beam tools, optical beam tools, decapping and sample preparation, and surface science tools.
  3. Case Histories. Participants identify how to use their knowledge through the case histories. They learn to identify key pieces of information that allow them to determine the possible cause of failure and how to proceed.

The class focuses on practical application to the situations that you face daily, whether you are a manager, an engineer, or a technician working in the semiconductor field, using semiconductor components, or supplying tools to the semiconductor industry.

Course Objectives

  1. The seminar will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of tools, techniques, and processes used in failure and yield analysis.
  2. Participants will be able to determine how to proceed with a submitted request for analysis, ensuring that the analysis is done with the greatest probability of success.
  3. The seminar will identify the advantages and disadvantages of common failure analysis tools and techniques.
  4. The seminar offers a wide variety of video demonstrations of analysis techniques, so the analyst can understand the results they might expect from their equipment.
  5. Participants will be able to identify basic technology features on semiconductor devices.
  6. Participants will be able to identify a variety of failure mechanisms and how they manifest themselves.
  7. Participants will be able to determine appropriate tools to purchase when starting or expanding a laboratory.

Course Outline

Day 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Failure Analysis Principles/Procedures
    1. Philosophy of Failure Analysis
    2. Flowcharts
  3. Gathering Information
  4. Package Level Testing
    1. Optical Microscopy
    2. Acoustic Microscopy
    3. X-Ray Radiography
    4. Hermetic Seal Testing
    5. Residual Gas Analysis
  5. Electrical Testing
    1. Basics of Circuit Operation
    2. Curve Tracer/Parameter Analyzer Operation
    3. Quiescent Power Supply Current
    4. Parametric Tests (Input Leakage, Output voltage levels, Output current levels, etc.)
    5. Timing Tests (Propagation Delay, Rise/Fall Times, etc.)
    6. Automatic Test Equipment
    7. Basics of Digital Circuit Troubleshooting
    8. Basics of Analog Circuit Troubleshooting

Day 2

  1. Decapsulation/Backside Sample Preparation
    1. Mechanical Delidding Techniques
    2. Chemical Delidding Techniques
    3. Backside Sample Preparation Techniques
  2. Die Inspection
    1. Optical Microscopy
    2. Scanning Electron Microscopy
  3. Microprobing
    1. Standard
    2. AFM Probing
    3. Nanoprobing
  4. Photon Emission Microscopy
    1. Mechanisms for Photon Emission
    2. Instrumentation
      1. Frontside
      2. Backside
    3. Interpretation

Day 3

  1. Electron Beam Tools
    1. Voltage Contrast
      1. Passive Voltage Contrast
      2. Static Voltage Contrast
      3. Capacitive Coupled Voltage Contrast
      4. Introduction to Electron Beam Probing
    2. Electron Beam Induced Current
    3. Resistive Contrast Imaging
    4. Charge-Induced Voltage Alteration
  2. Optical Beam Tools
    1. Optical Beam Induced Current
    2. Light-Induced Voltage Alteration
    3. Thermally-Induced Voltage Alteration
    4. Seebeck Effect Imaging
    5. Electro-optical Probing
    6. Laser Voltage Probe (IDS-2K)
  3. Soft Defect Localization
  4. Thermal Detection Techniques
    1. Infrared Thermal Imaging
    2. Liquid Crystal Hot Spot Detection
    3. Fluorescent Microthermal Imaging

Day 4

  1. Chemical Unlayering
    1. Wet Chemical Etching
    2. Reactive Ion Etching
    3. Parallel Polishing
  2. Scanned Probe Techniques
    1. Atomic Force Microscopy
    2. Scanning Capacitance Microscopy
    3. SQUID Microscopy
  3. Analytical Techniques
    1. TEM
    2. EDS/WDS
    3. ESCA/XPS
    4. Auger
    5. SIMS
  4. Focused Ion Beam Technology
    1. Physics of Operation
    2. Instrumentation
    3. Examples
    4. Gas-Assisted Etching
    5. Insulator Deposition
    6. Electrical Circuit Effects
  5. Case Histories

Instructional Strategy

Our courses are dynamic. We use a combination of instruction by lecture, problem solving, and question/answer sessions to give you the tools you need to excel in the failure analysis process. From the very first moments of the seminar until the last sentence of the training, the driving instructional factor is application. The course notes offer hundreds of pages of reference material that the participants can apply during their daily activities.

Our instructors are internationally recognized experts. Our instructors have years of current and relevant experience in their fields. They're focused on answering your questions and teaching you what you need to know.

Our analysis instructional videos help you visualize the process. Failure and Yield Analysis is a visual discipline. The ability to identify nuances and subtleties in images is critical to locating and understanding defects. Many tools output video images that must be interpreted by analysts. Our videos allow you to directly compare material you'll learn with your actual analysis work.

Instructor Profile

Christopher Henderson, President of Semitracks

Christopher Henderson

Christopher Henderson received his B.S. in Physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his M.S.E.E. from the University of New Mexico. Chris is the President and one of the founders of Semitracks Inc., a United States-based company that provides education and semiconductor training to the electronics industry.

From 1988 to 2004, Chris worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where he was a Principal Member of Technical Staff in the Failure Analysis Department and Microsystems Partnerships Department. His job responsibilities have included failure and yield analysis of components fabricated at Sandia's Microelectronics Development Laboratory, research into the electrical behavior of defects, and consulting on microelectronics issues for the DoD. He has published over 20 papers at various conferences in semiconductor processing, reliability, failure analysis, and test. He has received two R&D 100 awards and two best paper awards. Prior to working at Sandia, Chris worked for Honeywell, BF Goodrich Aerospace, and Intel. Chris is a member of IEEE and EDFAS (the Electron Device Failure Analysis Society).

At Semitracks, Chris teaches courses on failure and yield analysis, semiconductor reliability, and other aspects of semiconductor technology.