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Foundry Process Problem

Sphere on Spiral Stairs

In addressing process-related issues, semiconductor design companies can utilize the following instruments for fault analysis:


  • Optical Microscope: Used to inspect the chip's surface, identifying potential process defects, abnormal structures, or material issues.

  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM): Provides high-resolution surface images, aiding in the observation of chip microstructures and process defects.

  • Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS): Combined with SEM, analyzes elemental composition to help determine the nature of defects.

  • Atomic Force Microscope (AFM): Offers atomic-scale surface topography images for detecting subtle surface variations.

  • Infrared Spectrometer: Analyzes material chemical composition, aiding in identifying chemical issues in the chip.

  • Focused Ion Beam (FIB): Used to cut the chip and prepare cross-sectional views for further examination of internal structures.

  • Laser Fault Locator: Used to locate circuit faults within the chip, especially in multilayer structures.


The combined use of these instruments facilitates a comprehensive analysis of process-related issues, aiding in the swift and accurate identification of the root causes of process defects.

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