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Proceedings Paper

Accelerated life testing (ALT) in microelectronics and photonics: its role, attributes, challenges, pitfalls, and interaction with qualification tests
Author(s): Ephraim Suhir
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Paper Abstract

Accelerated life tests (ALTs) are aimed at the revealing and understanding the physics of the expected or occurred failures, i.e. are able to detect the possible failure modes and mechanisms. Another objective of the ALTs is to accumulate representative failure statistics. Adequately designed, carefully conducted, and properly interpreted ALTs provide a consistent basis for obtaining the ultimate information of the reliability of a product - the predicted probability of failure after the given time of service. Such tests can dramatically facilitate the solution to the cost effectiveness and time-to-market problems. ALTs should play an important role in the evaluation, prediction and assurance of the reliability of microelectronics and optoelectronics devices and systems. In the majority of cases, ALTs should be conducted in addition to the qualification tests, which are required by the existing standards. There might be also situations, when ALTs can be (and, probably, should be) used as an effective substitution for such standards, or, at least, as the basis for the improvement of the existing qualification specifications. We describe different types (categories) of accelerated tests, with an emphasis on the role that ALTs should play in the development, design, qualification and manufacturing of microelectronics and photonics products. We discuss the challenges associated with the implementation and use of the ALTs, potential pitfalls (primarily those associated with possible shifts in the mechanisms and modes of failure), and the interaction of the ALTs with other types of accelerated tests. The role of the nondestructive evaluations is also briefly outlined. The case of a laser welded optoelectronic package assembly is used to illustrate the concepts addressed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 2002
PDF: 22 pages
Proc. SPIE 4703, Nondestructive Evaluation and Reliability of Micro- and Nanomaterial Systems, (7 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.469620
Show Author Affiliations
Ephraim Suhir, Iolon, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4703:
Nondestructive Evaluation and Reliability of Micro- and Nanomaterial Systems
Norbert Meyendorf; George Y. Baaklini; Bernd Michel, Editor(s)

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