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Microcircuit Reliability Prediction Based on Physics-of-Failure Models
Keywords: Reliability , CMOS Devices, Aerospace System Design
Lifetimes of advanced technology complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices are getting shorter, and failure rates are increasing, as feature sizes progress below 100 nanometers. This is of particular concern to aerospace and other users, whose product lifetimes often span several decades; and the potential cost of higher system failure rates is significant. In response, the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute (AVSI) has conducted research to verify and model the device failure mechanisms. The models are based on physics-of-failure mechanisms, and have been verified by analysis of in-service data from a large sample size of telecommunications products over a period of eight years of service. Strong correlation has been demonstrated between measured and predicted values. By comparison, failure rates predicted from typical qualification tests for advanced technology CMOS devices did not match those observed in service. The AVSI project also developed a software calculator to enable avionics system designers to estimate lifetimes and failure rates, and to make system design tradeoffs that mitigate the effects of life-limited semiconductor devices. It is expected that this issue will be included in future aerospace system design, reliability, and certification requirements.
Lloyd Condra, Technical Fellow
The Boeing Company
Seattle, WA

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