Resources & Links

Resources & Links

Useful URLs

By Stan Silvus (

Reference Material
This site provides a search engine for standards and related types of documents. You can search by document number, document title, document developer, keywords, or combinations thereof. If you find what you want, there are usually links to the document developer's web site, and in many cases, you can download or purchase a copy on line.
As its name implies, is a starting-point source for a wide variety of general information. The home page has hundreds of topic-organized links to other sites that provide more detailed reference information.
Dictionaries, dictionaries, and more dictionaries -- more than 400. Not only are there English dictionaries, but there are numerous foreign-language and language-to-language conversion dictionaries. In addition, there are several specialized dictionaries for such topics as business, law, medicine, and computing. There are also rhyming dictionaries and dictionaries of synonyms and acronyms. Last, but not least, there is a thesaurus.
Semiconductor Subway is maintained by the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories in an effort to foster education and communication in microsystems and semiconductor technology. The key feature of the home page is a subway-like map on which each "stop" is a link to a semiconductor-related site. Many universities, vendors, foundries, and other information sources are included among the links. (Submitted by Dick Ross, IBM Microelectronics)
The Laws List contains short descriptions of numerous scientific principles, laws, rules, and effects with definitions and, sometimes, equations. Some errors have been detected, so use this site with caution; however, an e-mail to the compiler of this list pointing out the error and giving the correct information brings quick corrections.

Not only does Chip Center offer an extensive on-line catalog of electronic components, it also provides technical information and links to other sources of component-related information.

Want to see a lot of informative and entertaining animations related to basic electrical principles? Then, try the Williamson Labs web site. While you are there, check out the information and animated illustrations relating to other physical phenomena and the links to a wide variety of interesting web sites. (Submitted by Dick Ross, IBM Microelectronics)
This site, hosted by Florida State University, has extensive illustrated tutorials on optical microscopy and photomicrography. Additionally, it has a neat interactive virtual microscope in which the viewer can change such parameters as focus, aperture, etc. and see the effects on screen. Finally, there is a photo gallery that includes such relevant categories as Silicon Zoo and Chip Shots. (Submitted by Chuck Hawkins, Sandia National Laboratories)

Useful Tools
Martindale's Reference Desk Calculators On-Line Center provides links to almost 10,000 on-line calculators. Applications for home, business, finance, mathematics, statistics, science, chemistry, physics, astrophysics, computers, and engineering are included. Note that this URL is case sensitive, so be sure to type the capital letters as shown.
If you are faced with converting barleycorns to perches, you need this site. In addition to providing conversion factors for many obscure units of measure, this site also addresses the more mundane unit conversions that many failure analysts frequently encounter. Included on this site are definitions of units, lists of conversion factors, and calculators that do a lot of the work for you.
In addition to converters for traditional engineering units of measure, this site offers calculators for other interesting things: e.g., converting between number-system bases, solving mathematical expressions, estimating armor penetration, working with Roman numerals, translating phrases into Pig Latin, and finding the day that you can retire. (Submitted by Carla Sly, ASM International)
The Megaconverter web site offers conversions between units of measure. Two methods are provided for selecting the types of units to be converted: a conventional drop-down list and an unconventional dial. One of the available headings is "Zillions;" check it out!
Mathematica® provides The Integrator - type in an integrand, and receive the indefinite integral.

This URL points to an extensive tutorial on atomic-force microscopy - theory to applications. (Submitted by Chuck Hawkins, Sandia National Laboratories)
A tutorial on electrostatic discharge (ESD) theory and control is provided on the Electrostatic Discharge Society's web site.
FaradNet provides an extensive treatise on aluminum electrolytic capacitors; it also includes a long list of relevant literature references.

Industry News
Advanced Packaging, a free magazine, provides current information on developments and technological advances in semiconductor and electronic packaging. (Submitted by Carla Sly, ASM International)
Each morning, Good Morning Silicon Valley presents one-paragraph summaries of a dozen or so important technical news stories from the San Jose, CA, Mercury. (Submitted by Carla Sly, ASM International)
This searchable on-line version of Solid State Technology magazine is free to subscribers.

If you are reading this, you probably already know about the Electronic Device Failure Analysis Society (EDFAS). Of course, EDFAS is THE society for failure analysts, and if you are a failure analyst and not presently a member, you should join immediately. The annual dues are reasonable, and key benefits of membership include the quarterly magazine, Electronic Device Failure Analysis, and reduced registration fees at the International Symposium of Testing and Failure Analysis (ISTFA).
The Component Engineering Society of Orange County, California, provides a web site that contains numerous links to component suppliers; included in the link list are companies that design, manufacture, test, and sell electronic, mechanical, and electromechanical components. Most of the companies listed are located in Southern California. (Submitted by Rod Lord, Southwest Research Institute)
The Electrostatic Discharge Association sponsors the annual Electrical Overstress/Electrostatic Discharge (EOS/ESD) Symposium. Additionally, this organization offers a variety of publications and educational opportunities.
The Fabless Semiconductor Association web site provides industry news, reports, and directories, as well as links to related web sites (e.g., funding sources, industrial associations, etc.).

Conferences, Symposia, and Short Courses
The annual International Symposium for Testing and Failure Analysis (ISTFA), usually held in the fall, is the premiere gathering place for failure analysts to exchange ideas. In addition to technical papers on a variety of relevant topics, the symposium includes user groups, tutorial seminars, and vendor exhibits.
The 4th International CAM workshop on failure diagnostics will bring together industry experts from leading automotive OEMs, semi­conductor industry and failure analysis equipment manufacturers to discuss current and upcoming technological needs and latest achievements in automotive electronics. In addition, a particular focus will be given to the new fields of electronics for assisted and autonomous driving in connected cars of the future and for electric traction systems.
The special-emphasis Capacitor and Resistor Technology Symposium (CARTS) offers papers and associated tutorials. Information useful to component engineers and passive-component failure analysts is discussed. A European version of this symposium is also presented.
The annual Electrical-Overstress/Electrostatic-Discharge (EOS/ESD) Symposium is usually held in the fall. Papers, tutorials, workshops, and vendor exhibits relate, appropriately, to electronic-component damage caused by electrical overstress and electrostatic discharge.
The International Integrated Reliability Workshop is held annually in the fall, usually at a resort site. Featured are discussion groups, technical presentations, and special-interest groups related to reliability in semiconductor applications.
The International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) is normally held in the spring at varying locations. Technical papers deal with the physics of failure mechanisms in semiconductor devices.
The annual International Test Conference (ITC) is typically held in the fall with tutorials before and test workshops after the technical conference.
The Pittsburgh Conference (PITTCON) is a very large symposium related primarily to analytical chemistry. The vendor-exhibit area typically has more than 5000 booths. Usually, all of the SEM and EDX manufacturers exhibit at this spring conference.
Semitracks, Inc., provides a variety of short courses related to semiconductor device reliability and failure analysis.

AcousTech, Inc. is a service laboratory offering acoustic microimaging and x-ray services. The web site contains sample images and technical resources of interest. (Submitted by Kerry Oren, AcousTech, Inc.)
Allied High Tech Products offers a variety of products and equipment for precision sample preparation. In addition to product information, this site has a knowledge-base section that includes a photo gallery and links to numerous materials-related societies and organizations (including EDFAS).
Bridge Technology represents a number of manufacturers of equipment used in failure-analysis laboratories. (Submitted by Bridge Technology)
Buehler is a source of equipment and supplies for cross sectioning.
Item Software offers software solutions in the reliability, availability, maintainability, safety, and quality-assurance fields. Products include software for performing MIL-HDBK-217, Telcordia, and mechanical reliability predictions, failure-mode effects and criticality analysis (FMECA), fault-tree analysis, and maintainability analysis. (Submitted by Item Software)
Leco is a source of equipment and supplies for cross sectioning.
The Neocera site features the company's products including a scanning SQUID (superconducting quantum interference detector) microscope that is sensitive to low-strength magnetic fields such as those surrounding current-carrying conductors on a circuit board or integrated circuit. (Submitted by Chuck Hawkins, Sandia National Laboratories)
Oneida Research Services is a research laboratory offering a variety of analytical techniques for maintaining and improving microelectronic-component quality. (Submitted by Oneida Research Services)
South Bay Technology is a supplier of cutting equipment and consumables for failure analysis. (Submitted by Carla Sly, ASM International)
Southwest Research Institute is a large, independent, not-for-profit contract research organization. Buried deep within this organization is a small group that specializes in independent failure analysis of passive electronic and electrical components, discrete semiconductor devices, and low-to-medium-density integrated circuits.
Struers is a source of equipment and supplies for cross sectioning.
UKAM Industrial Superhard Tools manufactures precision diamond slicing, dicing, and wafering blades, core drills, and accessories. (Submitted by UKAM Industrial Superhard Tools)

General Interest
A transcript of Richard Feynman's 1959 talk entitled, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom - An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics," is presented on this web page. In effect, Feynman predicted some of today's state-of-the-art achievements - high-density microprocessor integrated circuits, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), etc. Moreover, he urges engineers and scientists to keep rumaging around in the area of very small things with the goals of developing new and smaller devices and methods for manufacturing them. (Submitted by Chuck Hawkins, University of New Mexico)
The Argonne National Laboratory Microscopy and Microanalysis site provides near-real-time viewing of a research microscopy laboratory. Also, images of a variety of objects may be selected for viewing. There are some on-line calculators that may be of interest to failure analysts. (Submitted by Rich Anderson and Chris Henderson, Sandia National Laboratories)
When and by whom was the scanning-electron microscope developed? Find answers to these questions and more in the historical papers offered on this web site.
The Famous Curves site shows equations, graphs, and other properties of named mathematical curves ranging from the Astroid to the Witch of Agnesi. Effects of parameters on curve shapes may be viewed on-line.
Everything you ever wanted to know about lightning. (Submitted by Chuck Hawkins, Sandia National Laboratories)