Sentris Micros Software Emissivity Company


Electronics Failure Analysis System

Due to the continued decrease in integrated circuit feature size and supply voltages, detecting and locating the miniscule amount of heat generated by failure sites has become increasingly difficult. Sentris pinpoints low-level infrared thermal emissions from IC faults such as short circuits and leakage current.

Using a non-destructive process called Lock-in Thermography, failures can be isolated on both bare (front or backside) and packaged devices without the need for surface treatment or coating. Sentris can also locate low-power fail sites on SMD components, such as capacitor leakage. The x, y position of defect sites can be located, as well as defect depth. Depth analysis can be very helpful when isolating faults in stacked die packages.

In addition to fault isolation, Sentris also includes thermal analysis tools for true temperature mapping, junction temperature measurement, die attach evaluation, and thermal resistance evaluation.

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Configure a System

Setup & Assembly


                Applications & Capabilities

                Faults Detected

                • Semiconductor ESD related faults

                • Leakage current and hot spots

                • Resistive shorts between gate and drain

                • Shorts in mold compound of packaged devices

                • Latch-up sites

                • Shorts in metallization

                • Defective transistors and diodes

                • Oxide layer breakdown

                • SMD component leakage

                Testable Electronic Devices

                • Bare semiconductor devices

                • Package semiconductor devices

                • Wafers

                • SMD components

                • Bare circuit boards

                • Populated circuit boards

                • Flex circuits


                • High sensitivity lock-in thermography fault isolation

                • Defect depth analysis of stacked die

                • True temperature mapping using Emissivity Tables

                • Visual camera probing

                • Junction temperature measurement

                • Bare and packaged device analysis

                • Front and backside analysis

                • Detection of die attach problems

                • Thermal resistance evaluation

                Lock-in Thermography Fault Isolation

                Lock-in thermography can identify the x, y location of defects.  Additionally, fault depth can also be determined by analyzing the phase angle (or time delay) between voltage application and resulting surface heating.

                True Temperature Mapping and Junction Temperature Measurement

                When imaging semiconductor devices, much of the contrast on the image is usually due to emissivity variations, not to temperature variations. Measuring true temperature often requires compensating for the pixel-by-pixel emissivity variations using emissivity tables.

                During integrated circuit operation, internal junction self-heating leads to a large concentration of heat at the junction. Accurate junction temperature measurement is an integral part of device thermal characterization. Emissivity tables provide a method to accurately measurement temperature of the junction by compensating for pixel emissivity variations across the die surface.

                Die Attach Evaluation

                Die attach defects can be due to a number of causes such as inadequate or contaminated die attach material, delamination, or voids. Sentris tools like image subtraction are used to assess the heat flow to determine integrity die bond integrity.

                Thermal Resistance Evaluation

                The concept of thermal resistance is often used to characterize the thermal performance of packaged devices.  Using this approach, device junction temperature can be estimated in different operating modes and environments. Sentris provides accurate temperature measurements at thermal reference points, such as device packaging and heat sinks, to evaluate thermal resistance.

                Competitive Advantage

                Uncooled Infrared Camera

                One of the most important differences between Sentris and many competing lock-in thermography systems for semiconductor failure analysis is the infrared camera technology. Sentris includes an Optotherm uncooled LWIR (7-14 microns) microbolometer camera with less than 40 mK NETD* and 60Hz image capture rate. Competing systems utilize cooled MWIR (3-5 microns) photoelectric cameras with ~20 mK NETD* and ~100Hz image capture rate.

                * Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) specifies the smallest temperature difference that can be detected.

                Test Sensitivity

                Lock-in thermography test sensitivity is primarily dependent on infrared camera sensitivity (NETD) and the number of images captured during a lock-in test. Test sensitivity (theoretical) = 0.5 * NETD / (square root(# test images captured)). Therefore, for a specific test time length, cooled MWIR cameras can provide approximately 2X the test sensitive than uncooled cameras. Sentris test sensitivity can be increased however, by simply extending the test time.

                Spatial Resolution

                When lenses are properly designed, spatial resolution is limited by diffraction to approximately ½ the working wavelength of the infrared camera detector. The working wavelength of the Sentris LWIR camera is approximately 10 microns, and therefore the minimum spatial resolution is ~5 microns. The working wavelength of cooled MWIR cameras is approximately 4 microns, and therefore the minimum spatial resolution is ~2 microns. Some MWIR camera suppliers offer lenses with higher magnification to provide increase spatial resolution of hot spots.  In practice, however, increasing lens magnification beyond the diffraction limit will generally lead to lower numerical aperture, shorter working distance, and increased diffraction.


                MWIR cameras include detector assemblies (called dewars) that must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures as low as 77K (-196.15°C) often using mechanical Stirling engines. Stirling engines are expensive, complex devices whose reliability should be considered when purchasing a system intended for many years of operation.

                Lock-in Hardware

                The Sentris lock-in thermography software-driven process was developed by Optotherm to simplify and reduce the cost of semiconductor failure analysis. Competing lock-in systems include complex and expensive lock-in amplifiers in order to synchronize captured thermal images with device power.

                System Cost

                By eliminating the expense involved with cooled infrared cameras and lock-in hardware, the cost of a complete Sentris system is often a fraction of the cost of competing systems.

                Functional and Uncomplicated

                The innovative Sentris fault isolation process was developed by Optotherm to simplify and reduce the cost of the lock-in thermography process. Traditional lock-in thermography systems include complex function generators and power supplies in order to synchronize device power with the capture of thermal images. By eliminating the need for these complicated and expensive instruments, Sentris provides a straightforward and affordable technique to semiconductor defect isolation.

                Advantages Over Liquid Crystal Thermography

                Liquid crystal thermography has low sensitivity, slow response, and requires the surface of devices to be coated. These systems are limited to detecting hot spots greater than 0.1°C and because they involve steady-state device powering, the heat generated by faults diffuses through semiconductor material, blurring the location of the defect source. Sentris overcomes the limitations of liquid crystal thermography. No surface coating is required, and hot spots below 0.001°C can be detected. Furthermore, high-frequency lock-in thermography minimizes heat diffusion, enabling the precise location of faults.

                Compliments Other FA Tools

                Semiconductor devices are becoming smaller, faster, highly integrated, and multi-functional with the result that failures often cannot be found using only one analysis technique. It is often necessary to use multiple tools to pinpoint different types of faults. Sentris thermal emission analysis is often used in conjunction with photon emission and OBIRCH analysis. Photon emission is used primarily to analyze leakage current resulting from gate oxide defects, latch-ups and ESD failures. OBIRCH is most often used to detect leakage current, short circuits and areas of high resistance.


                The price for a complete Sentris system is a fraction of the cost of competing cooled MWIR lock-in thermography systems.


                Lock-in Thermography

                Sentris employs lock-in thermography software and hardware to improve temperature detection sensitivity up to 100X compared with real-time thermal imaging. Lock-in thermography is a process of automatically and repeatedly applying voltage to a faulty circuit at regular intervals.  Many different voltage sources can be used (such as source meters and power supplies) with our reed relays that coordinate timing of applied voltage. Sentris software can also control select Keithley source meters and power supplies directly.

                In simple terms, during a lock-in test, thousands of thermal images of the device are analyzed during each power cycle. The sum of thermal images captured with applied voltage are subtracted from the sum of thermal images captured with no applied voltage.  After many voltage cycles, temperature changes lower than the infrared camera sensitivity can be detected. Increasing the number of voltage cycles results in improved test sensitivity. Test sensitivity is directly dependent upon lock-in test time. As a test continues to run, lower fault heating (and power dissipation levels) can be detected. Localized fault heating <1mK (0.001°C) can often be detected within a few minutes. Overnight tests can detect heating  as low as 0.02mK (0.00002°C). Weak sources of heat arising during normal operation of the device may even be detected.

                Cycle Frequency can be set from 1 cycle/minute up to 15 Hz. Performing lock-in tests at lower frequencies improves test signal/noise due to higher fault heat up. Higher frequency tests can improve hot spot spatial resolution by reducing thermal diffusion into adjacent areas of the device.

                Lock-in Test Results

                Lock-in images display the results of a lock-in test. The amplitude image displays heating occurring at any time during the voltage cycle. A single phase image displays heating occurring during a specific time in the cycle. The phase image displays the phase angle each point in the image which represents the time within the cycle that fault heating reaches the surface. When analyzing packaged devices and stacked die, phase angle can be used to estimate defect depth.

                Frequently Asked Questions


                Infrared Camera

                Uncooled LWIR* (7-14 μm) microbolometer
                Detector size
                640 x 480
                Image capture rate
                60 frames/sec
                Output protocol
                Camera Link
                Measurement range
                10 to 300°C
                Measurement accuracy
                +/-2°C or +/-2% of measurement§
                12V Power over Camera Link (PoCL)
                Ambient operating
                15 to 35°C
                Moving parts
                Calibration shutter


                manual focus with min 90 x 68mm FOV, min 100mm WD† , < 0.05°C NETD‡
                Microscopic 80μm/pixel
                fixed-focus 51.2 x 38.4mm FOV, 69mm WD† , <0.04°C NETD‡
                Microscopic 40μm/pixel
                fixed-focus 25.6 x 19.2mm FOV, 27mm WD† , <0.04°C NETD‡
                Microscopic 20μm/pixel
                fixed-focus 12.8 x 9.6mm FOV, 31mm WD† , <0.04°C NETD‡
                Microscopic 10μm/pixel
                fixed-focus 6.4 x 4.8mm FOV, 20mm WD†, <0.04°C NETD‡
                Microscopic 5μm/pixel
                fixed-focus 3.2 x 2.4mm FOV, 19.5mm WD†, <0.25°C NETD‡


                Sentris enclosure70 cm (W) x 74 cm (D) x 106 cm (H), 60 Kg
                Thermal stage controller
                300 mm (W) x 350 mm (D) x 130 mm (H), 4 Kg
                Reed relay enclosure
                220 mm (W) x 180 mm (D) x 120 mm (H), 2 Kg
                Benchtop space (min)
                180 cm (W) x 90 cm (D) x 110 cm (H)
                Utilities required
                6 outlets: 100 V AC to 240 V AC, 50 Hz to 60 Hz
                Ambient temperature required15-25°C
                Relative humidity required
                30-60% non-condensing 
                Note that additional Sentris accessories may involve additional requirements.

                    Configure a System

                Basic Configurations

                Below are the basic configurations for the Sentris LWIR IC product line, suited for testing semiconductor devices.

                Sentris LWIR IC 450

                The 450 offers a low-profile, compact system with a 450x450mm workspace, thermal camera movement in the z-axis (automated or manual), and a probing camera mounted on an articulating arm for course probing on pads of 100 microns or larger.

                Sentris LWIR IC 600

                Our most common configuration. The 600 offers a 600x600mm workspace, full automated XYZ thermal and probing camera positioning, and a system enclosure equipped with interlock protection.

                Sentris LWIR IC Desktop

                The Desktop offers a lightweight and portable system with XYZ thermal camera positioning (automated or manual).

                Base System

                These products are included with every Sentris system. 

                Infrasight Camera Series

                PN0357, PN0620 are used for semiconductor device failure analysis circuit board failure analysis, and microscopic temperature measurement and analysis of materials.

                IS640 20 micron Lens 

                PN0116 provides 20µm/pixel spatial resolution and 12.8 x 9.6 mm field-of-view at a working distance of 31 mm

                IS640 80 micron Lens 

                PN0119 provides 80µm/pixel spatial resolution and 51.2 x 38.4 mm field-of-view at a working distance of 69 mm.

                Thermalyze Image Analysis Software

                PN0177 provides an extensive set of analysis tools to help you characterize the performance of electronic and micro-mechanical devices.

                Lock-in Thermography Software Module

                PN0172 (LIT) is a process of automatically and repeatedly powering an electronic device at regular intervals while thermal images of the device are analyzed by software.

                System Computers

                A fully configured computer system for Sentris which includes all hardware and software preinstalled and tested.

                Add Additional Lenses

                IS640 Macro Lens

                PN0120 has an adjustable focus and working distance range of 100 mm out to infinity. The maximum spatial resolution is 140µm/pixel. 

                IS640 40 micron Lens

                PN0117 provides 40µm/pixel spatial resolution and 25.6 x 19.2 mm field-of-view at a working distance of 27 mm.

                IS640 10 micron Lens

                PN0653 provides 10µm/pixel spatial resolution and 6.4 x 4.8 mm field-of-view at a working distance of 20 mm.

                IS640 5 micron Lens

                PN0118 provides 5µm/pixel spatial resolution and 3.2 x 2.4 mm field-of-view at a working distance of 19.5 mm. *not radiometric*

                Add Additional Software Functionality

                Thermalyze Seat License USB Dongle

                PN0178 is required for IS640-17 USB3 cameras and for additional Thermalyze software seats.  

                Thermal Model Comparison Software Module

                PN0310 (TMC) tests are used to troubleshoot populated circuit board to detect and locate short circuits, open circuits, faulty components, and stressed components.

                Add a Camera Positioning System

                Camera Positioning System Manual Z 450

                PN0314 enables fine positioning of a thermal camera along the Z-axis.

                Camera Positioning System Manual Z 600

                PN0267 enables fine positioning of a thermal camera along the Z-axis.

                Camera Positioning System Auto Z 600

                PN0303 enables fine positioning of a thermal camera along the Z-axis. The motorized Z stage enables homing and the ability to reposition the cameras automatically to known, precise positions.

                Camera Positioning System Auto XYZ 600

                PN0250 enables fine positioning of a thermal camera and a probing camera. Motorized X, Y and Z stages enable homing and the ability to reposition the cameras automatically to known precise positions. Manual Z camera stages enable fine focusing and matching thermal and probing camera working distance.

                Camera Positioning System Auto XYZ 750

                PN0410  enables fine positioning of a thermal camera. Motorized X, Y and Z stages enable homing and the ability to reposition the cameras automatically to known precise positions. Manual Z camera stages enable fine focusing and matching thermal and probing camera working distance.

                Camera Positioning System Auto XYZ Desktop

                PN0480 is a portable and compact camera positioning system. The system's lightweight design allows for easy lifting using the handle along the z-axis. Motorized X, Y and Z stages enable homing and the ability to reposition the cameras automatically to known precise positions. 

                Add Device Testing Components

                Device Positioning Stage Manual XY 100 x 160mm

                PN0253 enables small components to be precisely moved and positioned within the camera’s field of view.

                Device Probing Chuck

                PN0418 is used to secure devices for testing using the included device clamps or optional vacuum pump.

                Thermoelectric Vacuum Chuck Equipment

                PN0254 is used to hold and heat/cool devices under test. It includes a thermoelectric vacuum chuck thermoelectric controller, vacuum controller, and a liquid heat exchanger.

                Device Probing Equipment

                PN0258 provides a sturdy base on which to probe and power semiconductor devices.

                Device Flip Probing Platform

                PN0335 is used to probe a device or wafer and flip to image the opposite side.

                Flip Platform Device Window

                PN0746 sits in the opening of [PN0335] Device Flip Probing Platform and is used to hold a device over a germanium window, which is transparent in the infrared wavelengths. Thus, if [PN0335] is flipped, the opposite side of the device can be imaged with a thermal camera.

                Flip Platform Device Clamp

                PN0715 sits in the opening of [PN0335] Device Flip Probing Platform and is used to hold a device. Thus, if [PN0335] is flipped, the opposite side of the device can be imaged with a thermal camera.

                Device XYZ Needle Probe Set

                PN0263 enables precise positioning of needle probes onto semiconductor pads.  Each probe has a magnetic base and can be adjusted in the x, y, and z directions with +/- 7.5 mm movement along each axis.

                Device Probing Camera Manual XYZ

                PN0283 displays small areas on electronic devices when making electrical connections using probes.  The camera can also be used to capture images of the unit under test for use with the Picture Overlay software tool.

                Device Probing Microscope Camera

                PN0293 displays small areas on electronic devices when making electrical connections using probes.  The camera can also be used to capture images of the unit under test for use with the Picture Overlay software tool. 

                8 Module Input Output Device

                PN0616 is an I/O device with 8 channels to control and monitor relays.

                Emissivity Coating Equipment

                PN0307 can be used to increase emissivity of devices for junction temperature estimation, lock-in thermography testing, and to create uniform surface emissivity.

                Thermal Test Chip

                PN0308 is a 2.5 x 2.5 mm silicon semiconductor die enclosed in a 15.24 x 31.5 mm ceramic 24 pin DIP package. Test chips can be very useful when training system users to perform tests such as lock-in thermography.

                Add Circuit Board Testing Components

                Camera Positioning Arm Manual XY

                PN0292 adjusts to any position in the XY direction and can mount to multiple vertical stages.

                Circuit Board XYZ Spring Probe Set

                PN0295 is used to make electrical contact with circuit board traces, vias, and component leads.

                Circuit Board Probing Camera Manual XYZ

                PN0294 allows the probing camera to be manually positioned in any orientation when probing both circuit boards and semiconductor devices.

                Barcode Scanner

                PN0065 is a text input device used to scan device barcodes. Barcode data can be used to save Lock-in Thermography and Thermal Model Comparison test files.

                Add System Enclosure

                System Enclosure 600

                PN0287 provides a stable environment for improved test sensitivity by blocking the thermal noise emitted by the ambient environment and blocking air currents generated by heating and air conditioning vents.

                System Enclosure 750

                PN0412 is designed for failure analysis of large circuit boards up to 600 x 500 mm. The anodized aluminum framed enclosure provides a stable environment to perform sensitive lock-in thermography and model comparison tests by blocking ambient thermal noise and air currents.

                Add System Equipment Racks & Accessories

                System Equipment Racks & Accessories

                19-inch standard equipment racks and accessories are used to store and use rack mountable components.

                Add System Safety Accessories

                Motor Controller Safety Kit

                PN0614 contains an emergency stop button and motor controller jog remote with both local and online control.

                Add System Warranty

                Sentris Warranty, Additional 1 Year

                PN0326 adds one additional year to the existing Sentris system one-year warranty. Unit Price is 10% of total system list price.

                Add Replacement Consumable Parts

                The following components are considered consumable and can be purchased as needed.

                    Setup & Assembly

                  Refer to the part numbers (ex., PN0000) in the component list included with your Sentris system to determine which of the following procedures to perform. 

                The process is relatively straight-forward, and assembly requires approximately 2 hours. 

                Step 1. Read Important Sentris Setup & Assembly Information

                Step 2. Computer

                Step 3. Enclosure

                Step 4. Camera Positioning System

                Step 5. Infrasight Camera

                Step 6. Device Testing Components

                Step 7. Circuit Board Testing Components

                Step 8. Equipment Rack

                Our systems are a fraction of the cost of competing MWIR systems

                Speak with an engineer today