Digital Image Correlation: What it is and Common Pitfalls

Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a non-contact, full field displacement optical measurement technique.

It is most often used in the following applications:

  • Material characterization (CTE, glass transition temperature, Young’s Modulus, Poisson’s Ratio)
  • Sample testing – fatigue and failure (in situ monitoring of displacements and strains)
  • Applications where displacement or deformation measurements are needed
  • High speed/frequency applications (i.e. crash testing, vibration)
Topic: Electronics Design, electronics failure, printed circuit board

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Red Phosphorus and Electronic Failures

Picture: A connector that shows evidence of corrosion from red phosphorus.

Electronics manufacturing is a complicated business. Consumer demand, manufacturing supply chains, materials, and regulations are constantly changing. Every company wants to be the first to market with the newest, coolest, most profitable technology. But sometimes the rush to get to market leaves safety and reliability in the dust. Design review and thorough supply chain assessment help mitigate electronic failure risks before they happen. Unfortunately, we get to see the same mistakes being made over and over again.  

Topic: electronic failures, red phosphorus

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Using FEA to identify Microvias and PTHs at Risk of Failure

Plated through holes (PTH) and vias are structures that interconnect signal circuits at different PCB layers. They are typically categorized as through vias (or PTH), blind vias, and buried vias. Due to the higher I/O density and smaller electronic packages evolving in the past decades, the demand for high density interconnects has increased significantly.

Topic: Sherlock, plated through via, via reliability, microvias, plated through holes, finite element analysis

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Power Semiconductor Unique Capabilities in the New Use Environments

As the power consumption of data center applications has grown, power devices have found their way into products across different market segments such as information technology, electric motor drives, grid infrastructure, automotive, and aerospace. This resurgence of wide-bandgap devices is not only driving growth by enabling high volume manufacturing and reduction in cost, but also innovation in material and packaging technologies lead to improvement in reliability and novel device types.

Topic: Semiconductor reliability, integrated circuits, Wide-bandgap, power devices

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Why Flux Residue Can Cause Electronics Failures

We perform dozens of failure analyses every month for our clients in various industries and identify many different root causes of failure. One that can be difficult to identify and prove is soldering flux residue. As circuit designs shrink and become more complex, flux residues are more likely to cause failure from leakage current.

Topic: Failure Analysis, electronics failure, flux residue

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Power Supply Components And Thermal Stress

Power supply is the core of electronic equipment. But as crucial as it is, designing a power supply can be difficult due to an indirect feedback loop within design teams, especially when it comes to thermal solutions. It is often more difficult to know what the temperature should be as opposed to what the temperature will be.

Topic: Magnetic Components, Thermal Cycling, LED Failure Modes, temperature cycling, LED, Temperature, electronics failure, Solder Joint Fatigue, Thermal Failure, Sherlock Automated Design Analysis, solder joint, integrated circuits

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How the Battery Supply Chain is Changing

When our customers approach us about battery reliability, the most pressing question is always, “How do we prevent catastrophic battery failures?”  While the rate of field failures is statistically low at only 1 to 10 ppm, the impact of battery failures has often been severe in recent years. Higher energy densities, and the use of lithium ion batteries closer to the human body are to blame for the severity of impact.

Topic: Thermal Batteries, Battery Technology, Battery Reliability, Battery Safety, Battery Failure, Lithium Ion Battery, battery swelling, swollen battery, battery management system, lithium battery explosion, ion battery

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Underfill Applications, Materials & Methods


Underfill is thermoset epoxies traditionally used in flip chip applications to reduce thermal stresses solder bumps experience due to coefficient of thermal expansion mismatch between a die and the organic substrate. Today, underfills are available in a variety of formulations and are widely used for board level reliability of ball grid array components by reducing thermal and mechanical loads under harsh use environments. Careful consideration to the underfill material properties and intended use environments must be made to assess the relative reliability improvements underfills offer.

Topic: Electronics Reliability, Solder Joint Fatigue, solder joint, Mechanical Design, integrated circuits, Reliability Physics

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Design Review Process

Here at DfR Solutions, we perform hundreds of design review projects a year. Sometimes companies come to us when they are considering a new electronic product and have only the initial designs. In other instances, companies approach us only after their product has already been configured, requesting a review of the final design before moving forward to the manufacturing stage. Ideally for the client, they are in the former group, partnering with us as early in design process as possible. It’s much more efficient (time- and cost-sensitive) to gather all available information and thoroughly check for potential failures of a design before nailing parts down, rather than to complete an assembly only to discover it doesn’t function properly in its use case scenarios.

Topic: Electronics Reliability, electronics test design, Mechanical Design, Reliability Physics, Standards Based Testing

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What's New With Sherlock 6.2?

Working closely with our clients, we receive constant feedback about current challenges facing our industry. This allows us to tailor Sherlock updates to address rapidly developing landscapes as we continuously strive to improve Sherlock to make reliability predictions more accurate and more appropriate to Sherlock users’ needs.

As part of our mission to make Sherlock the most dependable and extensive reliability analysis tool available, we are rolling out an update to our flagship software. The two newest features in Sherlock addresses two key challenges: modeling non-standard BGA layouts and predicting the fatigue life of assemblies utilizing Insulated Metal Substrates (IMS).

Topic: DfR Solutions, Sherlock Automated Design Analysis, reliability testing, Reliability Physics

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