C-SAM Scanning Acoustic Microscopy

Non-destructive Testing

What is C-SAM? Scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM), also denominated acoustic micro imaging (AMI), and scanning acoustic tomography (SAT) is a consolidated and recognized tool for quality control, inspection, and failure analysis of microelectronic components and materials.

Among other types of failures, acoustic techniques are particularly suitable for detecting those irregularities involving materials and density changes, including delaminations, voids, porosity and cracks, in any EEE components.

Therefore this NON-DESTRUCTIVE testing method is included in different EVALUATION, SCREENING, and LOT VALIDATION flows for several families of EEE components, which can be found in the doEEEt platform

C-SAM Testing Capabilities

We offer Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (C-SAM) testing capabilities and services, that include:

Reliability test

Quality Control Screening task

Preliminary non-destructive inspection in DP

This test consists of two phases: Evaluation/Qualification. During the evaluation phase, components/technologies can be extensively characterized, and margins determined. If the evaluation is successful, we can then proceed with Qualification; once qualified, the component is listed in the QPL (Qualified Part List). 

In Alter Technology, we specialize in designing tests and screening procedures for electronic components used in the aerospace, defense, and industrial electronics industries. Tests, inspections, or combination thereof, imposed on 100% of parts to remove unsatisfactory items or those likely to exhibit early failures. 

Destructive Physical Analysis DPA is a systematic, logical, detailed examination of EEE parts at various stages of physical disassembly. This activity is performed in order to verify that the manufactured lot quality is in accordance with the detailed specification and project requirements.   

Failure Analysis


Failure analysis is the process of analyzing the component data or the component itself to determine the reason(s) for degraded performance or catastrophic failure of a component either, during component manufacturing and testing, during incoming inspection, or after delivery to the customer, at the final application.  

The purpose of a Radiographic X-Ray Inspection is to nondestructively detect defects that are not otherwise visible: improper positioning of parts, broken elements, inhomogeneities in materials, foreign objects…  

Microsection analysis is performed on an assembled through-hole device as a part of failure analysis. Cross-section through the plane of interest can provide helpful information about solder defects, PCB inner layers, and internal construction. The plane of interest must be selected considering PCB characteristics, observed failure, and previous test results. 

C-SAM Characteristics

Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (C-SAM) has revealed as the most effective and complete non-destructive approach for the detection of critical and latent anomalies within COTS and plastic encapsulated microelectronics

C-SAM Meaning


The working principle of C-SAM is based on the reflection that acoustic waves experience at the interface between different media and density irregularities.

C-SAM Applications


C-SAM is a reliable and powerful tool for the non-destructive testing of microelectronic parts and base materials. Moreover, it is mandatory for different applications such as those described below for various sectors.

C-SAM Short Technical Notes


We offer short articles giving a brief description of a specific development, technique, or procedure of C-SAM’s capabilities and equipment

C-SAM Resources

Failure Analysis of Capacitors and Inductors

doEEEt Media Group
October 19, 2023
Failure Analysis of Capacitors and Inductors
The goal of passive components’ failure analysis (FA) is to determine the root cause for an electrical failure. The findings can be used by the manufacturers to improve upon the design, materials, and processes used to c...


Susana Galdeano
May 3, 2022
The pre-procurement phase combines the EEE parts state-of-the-art analysis, risk analysis and component ownership cost optimization with regards to the mission requirements, design criticality and budget. In order to...
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