Automated void detection in solder balls in the presence of vias and other artifacts

Asaad F. Said, Bonnie L. Bennett, Lina Karam, Alvin Siah, Kyle Goodman, Jeffrey S. Pettinato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Voids are one of the major defects in solder balls and their detection and assessment can help in reducing unit and board yield issues caused by excessive or very large voids. Voids are difficult to detect using manual inspection alone. 2-D X-ray machines are often used to make voids visible to an operator for manual inspection. Automated methods do not give good accuracy in void detection and measurement because of a number of challenges present in 2-D X-ray images. Some of these challenges include vias, plated-through holes, reflections from the the plating or vias, inconsistent lighting, background traces, noise, void-like artifacts, and parallax effects. None of the existing methods that has been researched or utilized in equipment could accurately and repeatably detect voids in the presence of these challenges. This paper proposes a robust automatic void detection algorithm that detects voids accurately and repeatably in the presence of the aforementioned challenges. The proposed method operates on the 2-D X-ray images by first segregating each individual solder ball, including balls that are overshadowed by components, in preparation for treating each ball independently for void detection. Feature parameters are extracted through different classification steps to classify each artifact detected inside the solder ball as a candidate or phantom void. Several classification steps are used to tackle the challenges exhibited in the 2-D X-ray images. The proposed method is able to detect different-sized voids inside the solder balls under different brightness conditions and voids that are partially obscured by vias. Results show that the proposed method achieves a correlation squared of 86% when compared with manually measured and averaged data from experienced operators from both 2-D and 3-D X-ray tools. The proposed algorithm is fully automated and benefits the manufacturing process by reducing operator inspection time and removing the manual measurement variability from the results, thus providing a cost-effective solution to improve output product quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6317150
Pages (from-to)1890-1901
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2012


  • 2-D X-ray system
  • feature extraction
  • segmentation
  • via
  • via reflection
  • void detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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