Failure Mechanisms in Modern Integrated Circuits and Industry Best Practices for Reliability Degradation Predictions

Authored by: Fernando Guarin

Extreme Environment Electronics

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439874301
eBook ISBN: 9781439874318
Adobe ISBN:


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As we continue scaling feature sizes and improving circuit performance, reliability plays an ever-increasing role in the development and manufacturing of leading edge technologies. There are many reliability challenges that must be resolved and managed judiciously in order to successfully introduce any new technology into a manufacturing environment. Silicon–germanium heterojunction bipolar transistor (SiGe HBT) technology delivers superior reliability while offering a level of performance comparable with III–V technologies. It enjoys the advantages associated with conventional silicon IC manufacturing: small device sizes, cost, design environment, fabrication, tooling, yield, and reliability. Over the last few years, SiGe BiCMOS technology has proven to be a very robust solution for space and high-reliability applications in extreme environments over a wide range of temperatures and operation in harsh environments. Thanks to its inherent radiation hardness and low power consumption, SiGe provides a very attractive solution for space and extreme application because it minimizes the requirements for radiation shielding and heat removal, thus achieving more efficient payloads. In this chapter, we will provide a practical overview of the most important failure mechanisms and methodology for lifetime prediction and their applicability under extreme applications. It should be noted that an exhaustive and in-depth review would merit a complete book on the subject.

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