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How Robust Designs Enhance Automotive Power Module Reliability

Posted by Greg Caswell on Nov 2, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Auto-Power-Module-Reliability.jpgThe automotive industry, among others, depends on power modules to house and protect delicate semiconductors and other components that power various automobile functions. Given the vital importance of power modules in relation to product reliability, a robust design must be in place in order to mitigate risk from defect, create margins and ultimately satisfy customer expectations.

It sounds simple enough. However, power modules are subject to high heat environments, possible vibration and shock, temperature and power cycling, high current flows and thermal transfer requirements, and multi-material composition. It all adds up to substantial failure potential.

The question becomes: How can a design be created that’s robust enough to compensate for these reliability risks? The answer is automated design analysis.

Design Phase

The foundation of a reliable product is a robust design. Automated design analysis introduces a software component to the design phase that allows for on-screen holistic design analysis and comprehensive reporting that targets product life curves.

In the case of automotive power modules, for example, the projected 20-year life curve would face scrutiny in plated through hole (PTH), thermal cycling fatigue, thermal cycling solder fatigue, vibration fatigue and overall module combined risk.

Product Reliability

Further, automated design analysis identifies and makes recommendations for life curve extensions, thereby enhancing product reliability by:

Mitigating design defects by applying Physics of Failure (PoF) to the design in order to predict reliability and refine models prior to investing considerable amounts of time and money in design-build-test-fix prototyping 

Creating design margins through on-screen analysis and reporting that enables engineers to make reliability determinations and design adjustments 

Satisfying customer expectations by delivering products that have undergone extensive Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis (DFMEA), provided exclusively for electronics by Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ software.

Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ software provides deeper insight earlier in the power module design process, saving automotive manufacturers time, money and resources en route to producing better, more reliable products.

For more information about how Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ software can work for you, click the button below to request your free trial.
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Topics: Sherlock