IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 625-634, September, 2003.

A Life Consumption Monitoring Methodology for Electronic Systems

Arun Ramakrishnan and Michael Pecht
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Failures in electronic products are often attributable to various combinations, intensities, and durations of environmental loads, such as temperature, humidity, vibration, and radiation. For many of the failure mechanisms in electronic products, there are models that relate environmental loads to the time to failure of the product. Thus, by monitoring the environment of a product over its life cycle, it may be possible to determine the amount of damage induced by various loads and predict when the product might fail

This paper describes the development of a physics-of-failure based methodology for determining the damage or life consumption in a product. As a demonstration of the methodology, a data recorder has been used to monitor the temperature and vibration loads on a printed circuit board placed under the hood of a car. The data collected by the recorder has been used to determine the life consumption in the solder joints of the printed circuit board due to temperature and vibration loading. The calculated remaining life has then been compared with temperature cycling test results on the board to assess the validity of the approach.

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