“After a failure” investigations are typically performed to identify root cause of failure, calculate risk exposure and develop mitigation and remediation solutions. Just like with “before a failure” investigation, there are two specific test methods that could be applied to either of the two categories – non-destructive physical analysis (NPA) and destructive physical analysis (DPA).
Failure analysis is the process of identifying, and typically attempting to mitigate, the root cause of a failure. In the electronics industry, failure analysis typically involves isolating the failure to a location on a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) before collecting more detailed data to investigate which component or board location is functioning improperly.
Decapsulation and cross-sectioning are two failure analysis techniques frequently used to root cause failure issues in electronics. However, these destructive methods that are expensive and time consuming, can be made more effective by the use of Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (SAM) to identify the most likely failure site for destructive methods to be focused on.