From single die traditional packages to wafers and advanced packaging devices – Comet Yxlon supplies manufacturers with X-ray inspection systems that meet the high standards of semiconductor quality control.

Quality testing of microchips and wafers

According to Moore's popular law, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles every 18 to 24 months. Following the trend towards miniaturization, more and more functions must be fitted in the same space to save silicon area. As the microchip becomes more complex, so do the requirements concerning quality inspections. Comet Yxlon offers high-resolution and high-magnification X-ray inspection systems that were engineered to meet the challenges of IC and wafer testing.

CT scan of TSVs

IC packaging: From traditional to advanced packaging

Driven by the need for smaller and more powerful chips, microchip packaging has seen revolutionary changes in recent years. While in traditional packaging single silicon dies are attached to substrates by wire bonding or solder bonding (e.g., with solder balls of 350-500 µm size) in one plane, advanced packaging allows multiple dies to be connected using silicon substrates and redistribution layers and packaged together as a single electronic device. This leads to smaller solder bump sizes (e.g., 50-100 µm C4 bumps and 10 µm micro-bumps) in a three-dimensional arrangement which requires an extra diligent inspection from a perspective that only computed tomography (CT) and computed laminography (CL) can provide.

Checking connections between silicon dies and substrates

Whether it concerns electrical connections for information transport, thermal connections to dissipate heat, or connections via solder balls or bond wires, conductivity must be ensured, and short circuits must be avoided. Voids do not only affect the solder joint mechanically, as cracks can propagate at this point, but also affect the electrical and thermal conductivity of the element. Quality inspections with Comet Yxlon X-ray systems help semiconductor manufacturers to analyze solder void sizes and ratio.

Advanced packaging leads to smaller solder bump sizes in a three-dimensional arrangement
CT scan of a copper pillar

Comet Yxlon solutions for semiconductor X-ray inspections

Speed, resolution, 2D or 3D – depending on the application, manufacturers have different priorities for the inspection of semiconductor products. Comet Yxlon offers a variety of X-ray and CT inspection systems tailored to specific inspection tasks.

2D X-ray radioscopy

  • Fast image generation, ideal for in-process inspections
  • Main application: traditional packaging
  • Inspection of simple wire bonds, vias, and solder bumps
  • Available in Cheetah and Cougar – the best image in the shortest time with sub-micrometer resolution

Computed laminography (CL)

  • Determination of spatial properties of components, as well as location and dimensions of defects
  • Main application: advanced packaging
  • Spot check inspection of multi-layer packages and embedded devices
  • Available in Cheetah and Cougar with vertical beam path and highest resolution, and the FF20 CT and FF35 CT systems with the horizontal beam path

3D computed tomography (CT)

  • 3D measurements for the determination of spatial properties, defect location, and dimensions
  • Main applications: detailed failure analysis
  • Available in the FF20 CT and FF35 CT systems with intuitive operation thanks to the Geminy user interface, and as an add-on for the Cheetah and Cougar systems
  • CT metrology

Software and workflows for automated inspection

Finding cracks, open solder joints, or voids in electronic components is a task best performed with automated processes. Comet Yxlon offers a wide range of software solutions for error-free X-ray inspection without the need for human intervention, such as:

  • VoidInspect CL, for void analysis in computed laminography images
  • Multi Area Void Calculation MAVC
  • Automatic positioning and re-positioning of inspection parts based on their unique structures
  • Automated inspection processes for identical parts after an initial manual set-up by an operator
  • Easy reporting and software-supported evaluation
Void analysis of BGAs using Comet Yxlon VoidInspect CL

Compliant with SEMI S2 safety standard

To ensure a global safety standard, the semiconductor equipment industry developed the SEMI S2 guidelines. They cover a wide range of health and safety requirements, such as regulatory requirements, electrical and chemical hazards, safety shutdown, and exhaust specifications. Comet Yxlon inspection systems FF35 CT SEMI and Cheetah EVO SEMI (on request) are fully compliant with the SEMI S2 standard.

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