Tools that can help identify packaging reliability risks earlier and with additional depth are becoming increasingly important. One such tool is a real-time, thermal-cycle reliability test in which the module package is monitored with a resistance daisy-chain methodology during temperature cycling. This test provides immediate real-time failure feedback and enhanced failure signature information and has proven to be a valuable method for capturing the early stages of a module mechanical failure at temperature extremes.
Today’s electronic module packages can integrate several active and passive components within one device, providing simpler board design, reduced component inventory, and reduced repair costs. Yet, as module footprints continue to reduce in size while increasing in packing density, finding ways to test them becomes challenging. Choices in the module material set, component variables, and substrate considerations all play substantial roles in determining the overall package reliability, and they ultimately determine which test methodology would be best to verify reliability.
Over the past decade, the industry has moved from relying on pass/fail test methods toward using design-for-reliability tests that focus on uncovering and analyzing potential problems at an earlier stage. A facet of this is the increased emphasis on the test-to-failure approach (particularly in the development stages) for certain packaging-related tests. Additionally, there is increased emphasis on extracting more meaningful data from standard fixed-duration tests, such as TC (temperature cycling tests. Follow the jump directly to Test & Measurement World, our sister publication, to continue reading this article and to hear more about temperature cycling, monitored temperature cycling, and to see examples of the authors' work.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.