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What is Physics of Failure?

Posted by Dr. Randy Schueller on Mar 14, 2017 9:23:00 AM

Physics-of-Failure (PoF).jpgProduct performance and reliability are non-negotiables in defense applications. It’s a statement as true now as it was during World War II, when the U.S. military experienced significant malfunctions in aircraft electronics. Then, reliability engineering was just being introduced and focused on metal fatigue and fracture, and solutions were often time-consuming, expensive and ultimately ineffective. These initial efforts, however, spurred a  shift to electronics reliability prediction simulation and testing that served as the basis for the Physics of Failure (PoF) approach that is common in many industries today.

What is Physics of Failure?

PoF is a science-based approach to reliability. It aligns design, electrical and mechanical engineering functions early on in a project in order to leverage knowledge of the processes and mechanisms that cause failure to predict reliability and improve product design and performance. These advances have made PoF the standard-bearer in streamlining the design process, reducing testing cycles and realizing faster time to market.

The Future of Physics of Failure

Smaller, faster and more complex electronics continue to evolve in defense and other critical-use fields. With them come new manifestations of existing failure mechanisms like Negative Bias Temperature Instability (NBTI), Electromigration (EM), Hot Carrier Injection (HCI) and Time Dependent Dielectric Breakdown (TDDB) — calling for engineers to separately study, identify and resolve related reliability implications. PoF is the ideal approach to address emerging reliability prediction requirements and the intricacies of in-demand electronics applications.

Likewise, forward-thinking companies are identifying, validating and leveraging PoF algorithms for new technologies. DfR Solutions, for example, developed Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ Software for this very reason. The only tool in the industry with the capacity to provide a turnkey solution for developing physics-based reliability predictions, Sherlock complements and leverages DfR Solutions’ deep knowledge of fundamental materials behavior, modeling and simulation. The result? Accurate failure behavior prediction for next-generation silicon transistors, wire bonds, solder bumps, die attach, light emitting diodes, electrolytic capacitors, plated through holes and solder joints.

For a deeper dive into PoF and product reliability, download Introduction to Physics of Failure Reliability Methods. Click the button below for your free copy.

Introduction to Physics of Failure Reliability Methods

Topics: Physics of Failure

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