The Inquirer-Home

Phoenix does x-ray tomography

Semicon West 2008 See which solder ball cracked
Sun Jul 20 2008, 14:01

WHAT DO YOU do when you want to inspect a solder joint on the bottom of a chip that failed, but taking it apart would ruin the things you want to see?

If you have a Phoenix X-Ray, you just put it in the machine and take a 3D image of the part.

alt='phoenix_xray'
Peer inside almost anything

With this handy and stylish unit, you too can do 3D X-ray tomography down to a resolution of about .5 micron focal spot, .25 or so micron pixels. Should you want to go bigger, there are four focal spot sizes to choose from, and you can peer inside just about anything you can fit in the unit. You can see keys as well as various chip components in the picture.

alt='crimped_cable'

What a crimped cable looks like on the inside

Woe betide any person who's boss gets one of these to check up on their work. As you can see from the nice images of the crimped cable above, if something goes wrong, you can tell why, exactly why. Since it is tomography, it is full 3D, you can zoom, slice and peer into places you never thought you could go.

Bumps and fractured solder balls are quite easy to see when you can rotate and slice through things, all those thorny 'wonder why that happened?' questions are easily answered. While the units may not exactly be cheap, if you need one, you need one .µ

 

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