Measurement of Laser Etchings on Integrated Circuits

By AZoNano Editors

Table of Contents

Introduction
Metrology
     Measuring Step Height
     Surface Finish
Taylor Hobson

Introduction

Laser etching is a prominent method for marking integrated circuits for identification purposes. This is due to the fact that laser markings are tamper proof. This method has helped in reducing integrated circuit (IC) fraud substantially. It has also decreased the selling of ICs for greater speeds for which they are not meant for or capable of.

Metrology

Measuring Step Height

Since IC packages have become thinner and smaller, the need for measuring the step height of laser etching has gained more prominence. The laser etch’s target depth can be defined by two factors. First, the laser etch must have enough depth to deliver tamper-proof marking, which can be read by using IC identification systems. The second requirement is that the laser etch must be shallow, so that it does not harm the circuits present on the chip.

Surface Finish

The surface finish of the laser etched mark is crucial for reading the final identification, whether produced manually or by a machine. The roughness of the surface is proportional to the amount of light that is scattered. This enhances the contrast of the etched mark to its surrounding surfaces.

Taylor Hobson

Taylor Hobson is an ultra-precision technology company operating at the highest levels of accuracy within the field of surface and form metrology. They provide contact and non-contact measurement solutions to the most demanding applications on a global basis, with a worldwide infrastructure to support our clients, wherever they may be.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Taylor Hobson.

For more information on this source, please visit Taylor Hobson.

Date Added: Apr 8, 2011 | Updated: Jun 18, 2013
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