TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 758/2003
F N Sinnadurai, S D Rostami, S B Dunkerton and J B Wintle
Modern electronic equipment is expected to be reliable and consumer components demonstrate the potential of this with guaranteed lifetimes of more than ten years for existing packaged devices and assembled boards. However, the field of electronics is constantly changing and extending into optoelectronics, MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical-systems) and even NEMS (nano-electro-mechanical-systems). This requires adoption of new designs, materials, fabrication and assembly routes for which historical data and design guidelines for reliable products do not exist.
The field of reliability engineering is complex. It is clearly multidisciplinary in nature requiring, as a minimum, a good understanding of materials, physics, electronics, statistics and an analytical approach. It is often misunderstood within the industry and there is continuing debate among recognised centres of excellence on the best approach to reliability evaluation and life prediction.
Reliability is defined in general terms as the ability of a component to perform a given function under stated conditions for the desired duration. It should not be, but often is, confused with quality, which is the achievement of electrical and physical conformance during manufacturing to an agreed specification.
This report introduces the range of test methods applied to electronic assemblies for the early identification of faults and the generation of data for lifetime prediction.
- To present the failure regimes typical of electronics products.
- To introduce the benefits of screening tests for early detection of latent failures due to manufacturing faults.
- To describe approaches to reliability testing for determination of lifetime performance.