Digital & Analog Integrated Circuits
Exponent has a long history of consulting in the consumer electronics arena. We’ve found that often times failures can be isolated to a specific IC in the device or a design effort can be simplified by choosing the IC that’s best suited for the intended application. Many of Exponent’s consultants have first-hand experience with IC fabrication at all levels of the manufacturing process including:
- Material selection
- Device layout
- Lithography (optical or electron beam)
- Deposition (chemical vapor deposition or molecular-beam epitaxy)
- Metallization (evaporation or sputtering)
- Etching (wet or plasma)
- IC packaging (dicing, wire bonding, package sealing)
- Final characterization
Exponent assists at any stage of the IC process, from choosing the right process steps for desired device architecture to package design qualification. Our packaging expertise includes: hermetic packaging, wafer encapsulation, wafer level packaging, plastic mold packaging; wafer bonding, wire bonding, flip chip, die attach materials, chip on board, and COTS packaging.
At Exponent we have experience de-capping and de-processing ICs and using advanced metrology techniques to inspect the IC using optical and electron microscopy, focused ion beam (FIB) milling for cross-sectional analysis or energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis. Alternatively, we can perform non-destructive cross-sectional analysis via 3D X-ray Computed Tomography (CT). We also routinely characterize IC performance on a probe station, a curve tracer, or other custom setup for advanced electrical testing in order to arrive at a desired solution.