There’s an art to semiconductor development and testing thanks to the competing constraints imposed by time, money, precision, repeatability, and test coverage. Teams that are able to leverage accelerated lifetime testing and failure diagnosis gain a valuable advantage over their more traditional competitors. This type of testing can provide die, packaging, and process engineers a deep and broad understanding of their products while building confidence in their design and production processes. Critical aspects of this understanding include high-level functional testing and low-level, layer-by-layer characterization of the semiconductor substrates.
- Estimation of high-power semiconductor product lifetimes
- Identification of high-power semiconductor package defects
- Accurate layer-by-layer characterization of a semiconductor stackup
- Increased understanding of semiconductor designs and processes
- Aerospace and defense: aircraft power electronics for propulsion, flight surface control, high power RF systems, component suppliers, digital electronics for flight systems, naval weapons, electric propulsion power system and control electronics.
- Automotive and transportation: power electronics between battery and motors in EV, HEV, PHEV. Motor control for rail traction, digital electronics for driver assistance, navigation, and infotainment.
- Electronics: power electronics component vendors and packaging house for design validation in package and product development, manufacturing process qualification, reliability testing, creation and calibration of thermal models for the supply chain and for thermal design verification, inbound component inspection, and more.
Within those applications (and beyond), modern testing can help calibrate and validate analytic models to better match the real world. Indeed, designers may even find that there is much value in evaluating existing designs before moving on to new designs. Stackup tolerances, thermal interface material performance, packaging imperfections, and even PCB mounting variation in existing products can all contribute negatively to overall device functionality. Understanding the real-world impacts of these existing product variations via testing can inform future designs and help squeeze valuable performance out of those designs.
We’ll explore the details of how the testing described in this technical blog post can be achieved in a future post. In the meantime, if you’d like to get more information regarding M4’s in-house semiconductor testing capabilities, feel free to reach out to Brian Rotty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (562) 357-7975.
Written by Brian Rotty
Brian Rotty is a senior engineer at M4 with a focus on technical program management and embedded systems development.