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Miniaturization, efficiency, integration and cost reduction: electronic components are continuously improved

Nowadays, electronics is everywhere even where we do not expect it. From automotive, aeronautical and aerospace standard industries to advanced medical devices, nanorobots, modern smart phones or new connected objects, it gives great functionalities and embedded intelligence to a lot of useful equipment. Every electronic card is composed of very small basic parts such as transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, coils and diodes. All of them being integrated inside more and more densely populated circuit boards, new challenges are raised.

Indeed, even if Moore's law has been checked for the last few years, electronic devices manufacturers start struggling with improving even more their circuit chips. Reaching the limits of physics, new strategies are today used and some of them imply the use of new controlling technologies in order to check and enhance them.

Solder joints on Ball Grid Arrays (BGA), Lithium-Ion batteries, multilayer and assembled Printed Circuit Board (PCB), Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT), Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) screens, small electric motors and silicon wafers are used in microelectromechanical systems and they all need to meet safety requirements before being installed.

X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) and Digital Radiography (DR) provide interesting results in order to help electronics experts

Live X-Ray Digital Radiography being available on all RX Solutions systems, it is very easy to detect broken bond wires or identify delamination issues by taking images of a component. The process is non-destructive, can be automated and if the supposed defective connection is not found then the part can be released without any modification. Moreover, preparing a sample to be scanned is no more than finding a support to hold it between the X-Ray tube and the detector.

Standard microscope inspection is often used in electronics but do not give same results because the majority of its components are hidden under other components, insulation or circuit boards. These superimposed features are not a limitation for X-Ray CT which can provide a three-dimensional model of any electrical connector or chip within a few minutes.

RX Solutions systems are designed to perform the best X-Ray Computed Tomography available on the market. With such technology electronics experts are now able to distinguish voiding due to gas bubbles in the solders, test Through-Silicon Vias (TSV) and find foreign object debris inside an electronic device without opening it.

An important range of high-quality results provided with RX Solutions X-Ray industrial CT systems

RX Solutions systems give high-resolution up to 0,4 µm and high-magnification capacities making tiny chips visible. Their robust and high-quality design eases the detection of broken bond wires, foreign object debris, delamination issues, solder joints problems and insulation integrity. The detection can be directly performed in the acquisition and reconstruction software X-Act provided with the machine or within a state-of-the-art analysis program if needed.

Thanks to an advanced laminography mode, it is even possible to scan and analyse big size electronic cards with high resolution. Individual layers can be visualized and components placement is then checked even if the board is 20x20 inches.

Batteries and capacitors are also well suitable to CT because for safety reason they sometimes need to be checked non-destructively before being assembled inside a bigger system. Post-mortem analyses and so called “4D CT” can be performed with RX Solutions systems. By scanning several times the same battery, its aging can be analysed through different parameters such as stainless steel case thickness, lithium sheets arrangement, voids or inclusions presence... With an industrial CT system and a good automated process, 100% battery inspection is henceforth feasible.

RX Solutions provides a large product line allowing its aerospace customers to examine closely tiny advanced composite material samples but also mid-sized wing or fuselage parts.