Art of Failure 2011

The surprising stuff you find when chips fail

1 min read

Image: Tan Ewe Chhong
For a quality-assurance test, this radio-frequency device was put into an autoclave at high temperature, pressure, and humidity. The cap covering the device membrane failed and moisture infiltrated, causing the splotches and branches of corrosion seen in the image.

Sometimes art is accidental. At IEEE's 18th International Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits, held 4 to 7 July in Incheon, South Korea, participants submitted pictures of surreal and spectacular close-ups of microchips, competing for the most affecting image. This is the fourth year IEEE Spectrum has featured the finalists from IPFA's "Art of Failure Analysis" contest. Click on the links for winners from 2010, 2009, and 2008.

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