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IEEE's "The Art of Failure Analysis" 2018, 2012
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These images have been chosen for their uniqueness. Subject matter ranges from historic events, to really cool phenomena in science and engineering, to relevant place, to ingenious contraptions, to interesting products (which now has its own dedicated Featured Product category).

Since 2008, IEEE's International Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IFPA) has on occasion held an "Art of Failure Analysis" photo contest. Familiar shapes and patterns occur regularly in nature at the macro level that can be seen and recognized by almost anyone; e.g., the Nautilus spiral, the Fibonacci series in plant life, and fractal structures. It takes a high power optical microscope or even a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to see those sights in the realm of the very small. Sometimes, though, the images are downright bazaar and look eerily familiar.

Back in 2010 I posted the winners for that year's contest (see below), and it appears there have not been any others since then until in 2018, and none for 2019 or 2020. Click on the image to the upper left to visit the IEEE webpage. 

Art of Failure Analysis 2012 (originally posted August 14, 2020)

The first-place winner from the 2012 "Art of Failure Analysis" is a good example. Titled, "People on the Beach," this SEM image by Infineon's Lim Saw Sing. It is an exposed polyimide surface that was etched by reactive ions. Is that cool or what?

Mr. Bill Bendable Doll - RF Cafe"The Hope Terrace" is another familiar sight. It looks just like a formation of tiered cliffs with wind-blown snow or sand upon them. "Silver Leaves" appears to be an infrared type image of a cluster of plants. We have seen a lot plant-like SEM images. "Big Nose" reminds me of Mr. Bill yelling "Oh, nooo...." while pleading for mercy from Sluggo. "Lunar Eclipse" looks more to me like an annular solar eclipse, but I suppose artistic license permits the photographer to name it anything he wants.

Here are the winners for 2011, 2010, 2009, and the first one in 2008.

The following thumbnail images are from the IEEE's IFA 2012 website. Click on image for larger version.

"People on the Beach" IEEE Photo - RF Cafe

People on the Beach

Lim Saw Sing

"The Hope Terrace" IEEE Photo - RF Cafe

The Hope Terrace

Tan Lee Koon

"Silver Leaves" IEEE Photo - RF Cafe

Silver Leaves

Amy Ng & Angelina Lau

"Big Nose" IEEE Image - RF Cafe

Big Nose

Wu Xing & Pey Kin Leong

"Fist of Victory" IEEE Photo - RF Cafe

Fist of Victory

Khoo Bing Sheng

"Lunar Eclipse" IEEE Image - RF Cafe

Lunar Eclipse

Joel B. Hosmillo

 

 

Posted December 21, 2020

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