Original Date: 11/01/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : High-Temperature Electronics Design for Reliability
The Center for Advanced Life-Cycle Engineering has developed design for reliability methodologies and software tools that guide the environmental characterization, component testing, material selection, package architecture determination, and reliability assessment of electronic products and systems for high temperature electronic applications. The result enables the timely development of competitive, cost-effective, high-temperature electronic products and systems.
Electronics that can operate in extreme high-temperature (T > 125×C) environments are important for two types of systems – distributed control systems and power-management systems. Distributed control systems are used in applications such as aerospace engine combustion monitoring and vane actuation, flight surface control, automotive engine and transmission control, chemical process control, and deep well drilling and logging. The integration of sensors, control electronics, and actuators as one remotely placed package improves cost, performance, reliability, and maintainability. Power management systems generate high heat that raises the operating temperature of the device it is controlling, unless the system packaging dissipates the heat. Extreme temperature electronics are desirable because of their ability to permit distribution control and power management without requiring external cooling systems.
The reliability of electronic systems is usually assessed at the end of the design phase using standardized qualification testing of prototypes. The method used by the Center for Advanced Life-Cycle Engineering (CALCE) is based on the physics-of-failure (PoF) approach to reliability assessment and enhancement. Models of fundamental failure mechanisms are modified to adapt to any changes that occur in the failure mechanism at elevated temperatures. They can be used to assess the reliability of specific electronic designs in unfamiliar environments. This method is a streamlined, systematic, 13-step process that uses material selection processes and simulation techniques that flow in a logical transition (Table 2-1).
CALCE’s knowledge and resources provide a fundamental scientific method for the rapid development of competitive, cost effective, high temperature electronic products and systems. The methodology has been used successfully to design, develop, and enhance many high-temperature electronic systems.
Table 2-1. High-Temperature Package Design Process
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