Richard Bauernschub and Pradeep La11
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
This paper discusses using a physics-of-failure (PoF) approach to assessing the defect-related reliability of microelectronic components. In the past, microelectronic reliability has been addressed. by reliability prediction. However, the statistical probabilistic paradigm in reliability prediction effectively prevents the designer from gaining insight into the failure mechanisms at work. Consequently, there is no unified approach to some critical questions: What defects, environmental and test or screen loads are the reliability drivers for the device? What magnitudes of defects should be allowed to pass the screens? What is the correlation between the defect magnitudes and operational life? A physics of failure approach has been developed to address these concerns and determine screening levels based on failure mechanisms, failure modes, defect magnitudes and environmental stresses for the application. Chosen test and screen levels are unique for each design because they are generated from the physics of the interaction between defects and environmental loads. Some of the potential defects in microelectronic components have been presented. The approach is illustrated by an example application to wire bond interconnects.
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