A Fast Object Detection-Based Framework for Via Modeling on PCB X-Ray CT Images


For successful printed circuit board (PCB) reverse engineering (RE), the resulting device must retain the physical characteristics and functionality of the original. Although the applications of RE are within the discretion of the executing party, establishing a viable, non-destructive framework for analysis is vital for any stakeholder in the PCB industry. A widely regarded approach in PCB RE uses non-destructive x-ray computed tomography (CT) to produce three-dimensional volumes with several slices of data corresponding to multi-layered PCBs. However, the noise sources specific to x-ray CT and variability from designers hampers the thorough acquisition of features necessary for successful RE. This article investigates a deep learning approach as a successor to the current state-of-the-art for detecting vias on PCB x-ray CT images; vias are a key building block of PCB designs. During RE, vias offer an understanding of the PCB’s electrical connections across multiple layers. Our method is an improvement on an earlier iteration which demonstrates significantly faster runtime with quality of results comparable to or better than the current state-of-the-art, unsupervised iterative Hough-based method. Compared with the Hough-based method, the current framework is 4.5 times faster for the discrete image scenario and 24.1 times faster for the volumetric image scenario. The upgrades to the prior deep learning version include faster feature-based detection for real-world usability and adaptive post-processing methods to improve the quality of detections.

ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems
Olivia Dizon-Paradis
Olivia Dizon-Paradis
Graduate Research Assistant

My research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and reinforcement learning