A contact is formed within an active region of a substrate at the edge of a die, preferably within the first metallization level in the active region of the substrate. An opening having sloped sidewalls is then etched into the back side of the substrate, exposing a portion of the active region contact. An interconnect is formed on the opening sidewall to connect the active region contact with a die contact pad on the backside surface of the substrate. The active region contact preferably spans a boundary between two die, with the opening preferably etched across the boundary to permit inter-connects on opposing sidewalls of the opening to each contact the active region contact within different die, connecting the active region contact to die contact pads on different dice. The dice are then separated along the boundary, through the active region contact which becomes two separate active region contacts. By forming a shared contact opening spanning two dice, the backside contact is formed around the die edge and the backside surface area necessary for the contact opening is minimized. The backside contact allows direct placement of the integrated circuit die on contacts within the packaging, such as a ball grid array, eliminating the need for wire bonds. The need for a pad etch through passivation material overlying active devices on the front side of the die is also eliminated, and no mask levels are added for the devices formed on the front side.