Comparison of Electronics-Reliability Assessment Approaches
M. Cushing, D. Mortin, and T. Stadterman
AMSAA, Aberdeen Proving Ground
CALCE Electronics Packaging Research Center
University of Maryland, College Park, 20742
Two general approaches are available for assessing reliability of electronics
during design: Device failure-rate prediction, and physics-of-failure.
This article broadly compares these two approaches in a way that is readily
understandable by the wide range of readers concerned with the design,
manufacture, and support of electronic equipment. The most prominent
device failure-rate prediction methodology, US Mil-Hdbk-217, does not provide
the designer or manufacturer with any insight into, or control over, the
actual causes of failure since the cause-and-effect relationships impacting
reliability; this problem results in an inability to tailor a Mil-Hdbk-217
prediction using these key parameters. Physics-of-failure methodology
is an approach to design, reliability assessment, testing, screening, and
stress margins that uses knowledge of root-cause failure mechanisms to
prevent product failures through robust design & manufacturing practices.
This approach proactively incorporates reliability into the design process
by establishing a scientific basis for evaluating new materials, structures,
and electronic technologies. This approach encourages innovative,
cost-effective design through realistic reliability assessment.
Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.
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