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Sonoscan Receives Patent For Frequency Domain Imaging

Elk Grove Village, IL — July 1, 2006

Sonoscan, Inc., the developer and manufacturer of acoustic microscope systems, has been issued U.S. Patent #6,890,302 that gives engineers a new tool for diagnosing packaging defects. This is one of several patents issued to Sonoscan in the past year.

Acoustic microscope echoes are typically time-gated on a depth of interest, and echoes from other depths are ignored. This method, known as Time Domain Imaging, has been the standard for many years. If a 230 MHz transducer is being used, the frequency content of the return echoes at an x-y coordinate will range from about 170 to about 260 MHz or more, and the frequency content characteristic typically varies from one pixel to the next.

Sonoscan’s development of the new technique of Frequency Domain Imaging (FDI) separates the various return echoes at each x-y coordinate into their individual frequencies. The result is not a single acoustic image, but typically 20 to 40 different acoustic images, each image made from echoes of a single frequency, and each image having its own contrast and resolution.

Specifically, engineers often solve problems involving internal interfaces by comparing the various FDI images. The results for any particular sample depend on the sample and on the materials involved, but typically some FDI images have much higher resolution than others, and are useful for performing exacting diagnoses of critical interfaces such as those in flip chips. In some cases, FDI images display features that are not visible in the time-domain images.

Small portion of the die-to-underfill interface on a flip chip imaged by time-domain imaging (left) and FDI (frequency-domain) imaging (right).  Irregular light areas in left image are delaminations; FDI image improves contrast and reveals more detail.

Sonoscan, Inc. 2149 E. Pratt Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. Phone 847-437-6400. Contact Bill Zuckerman x237. Email; web

About Sonoscan®: Sonoscan is the leading developer and manufacturer of acoustic microscopes and sophisticated acoustic micro imaging systems, widely used for nondestructive analysis of defects in industrial products and semiconductor devices. For over 30 years, Sonoscan’s attention to customer needs and investment in R&D has created systems that set industry standards for speed and accuracy. Key products include C-SAM® systems for off-line and laboratory analysis and FACTS2™ for automated production inspection.

Through its SonoLab division Sonoscan applications engineers, with experience totaling more than two centuries in acoustic microscopy, assist hundreds of customers annually in solving materials problems and quality control issues. SonoLab operates applications testing laboratories in multiple global locations to serve the inspection needs of customers that do not have their own capability.