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.
Todayís 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.
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