IEEE EPS Webinar: Failure-Oriented-Accelerated Tests and Their Roles in Making a Viable IC Package into a Reliable Product


The bottleneck of an electronic, photonic, MEMS or MOEMS (optical MEMS) system's reliability is, as is known, the mechanical ("physical") performance of  the system's materials and structural elements and not its functional (electrical or optical) performance. It is well known also that it is the device packaging that is the most critical undertaking, when making a viable, properly protected and effectively-interconnected electrical or optical device and package into a reliable product. Accelerated life testing (ALT) conducted at different stages of an IC package design and manufacturing is the major means for achieving that. Burn-in-testing (BIT), the chronologically final ALT, aimed at eliminating the infant mortality portion (IMP) of the bathtub curve (BTC) prior to shipping to the customer(s) the "healthy" products, i.e. those that survived BIT, is particularly important: BIT is an accepted practice for detecting and eliminating possible early failures in the just fabricated products and is conducted at the manufacturing stage of the product fabrication. Originally BIT used continuously powering the manufactured products by applying  elevated temperature to accelerate their aging, but today various stressors, other-than-elevated-temperature, or a physically meaningful combination of several of them, are employed in this capacity. BIT, as far as "freaks"  are concerned, is and always was, of course, a failure-oriented-accelerated-testing (FOAT) type of testing.  Our analysis sheds light on the role and significance of several important factors that affect BIT's testing time and stress level: the random failure rate (RFR) of mass-produced components that the product of interest is comprised of; the way to assess, from the highly focused and highly cost effective FOAT, the activation energy of the “freak” population; the role of the applied stressor(s); and, most importantly, - the probabilities of the “freak” population failures depending on the duration and level of the BIT's effort. These factors should be considered when there is an intent to quantify and, eventually, to optimize the BIT’s procedure. Although no straightforward and complete ways of how to optimize BIT have been suggested, our analyses provide nonetheless useful and physically meaningful information on the significance of some important factors that affect this type of FOAT. But there is also another, so far less well-known and not always conducted today, FOAT that has been recently suggested in connection with the novel probabilistic design for reliability (PDfR) concept and is supposed to be conducted at the design stage as a highly focused and highly cost effective undertaking. FOAT is the experimental foundation of the PDfR concept and, unlike BIT, which is always a must, should be conducted, when developing a new technology or considering a new design, and when there is an intent to better understand the physics of failure and, for many demanding applications, such as, e.g., aerospace, military, or long-haul communications, to quantify the lifetime and the corresponding, in effect,  never-zero probability of failure of the product in the field.  Such a design-stage FOAT could be viewed as a quantified and reliability-physics-oriented forty years old highly-accelerated-life-testing(HALT), and should be particularly recommended for new technologies and new designs, whose reliability is yet unclear and when neither a suitable HALT, nor  a more or less established "best practices" exist. When FOAT at the design stage and BIT at the manufacturing stage are conducted, a suitable and physically meaningful constitutive equation, such as, e.g., the kinetic and physically meaningful multi-parametric Boltzmann-Arrhenius-Zhurkov (BAZ) model, should be employed to predict, from the test data, the probability of failure and the corresponding useful lifetime of the product.  Both types of FOAT and the use of the BAZ equation are addressed, and their roles and interaction with other types of accelerated tests are indicated and discussed. It is noteworthy that the BAZ model can be used also to predict the lifetime not only of IC packages, but the lifetime of electronic devices as well.

Our analyses use, as a rule, analytical ("mathematical") predictive modeling. In the author's opinion and experience, such modeling should always complement computer simulations: these two major modeling tools are based on different assumptions and use different computation techniques, and if the calculated data obtained using these tools are in agreement, then there is a good reason to believe that the obtained data are accurate and trustworthy. Future work should be focused on the experimental verification of the obtained findings and recommendations.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 15 Dec 2022
  • Time: 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
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  • Starts 03 December 2022 11:32 AM
  • Ends 15 December 2022 02:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Dr. Ephraim Suhir


Failure-Oriented-Accelerated Tests and Their Roles in Making a Viable IC Package into a Reliable Product


E. Suhir,

Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ (ret), Portland State University, Portland, OR, and

ERS Co., Los Altos, CA, 94024, USA, 650-969-1530, and