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Reliability & Latch Up Testing

Reliability engineering labs are responsible for ensuring the device their companies make are robust and can withstand the electrical stresses published in the data sheets.  These departments can exist within OCM or Fabless companies and also supported by a variety of private labs.

Reliability engineers are responsible for at least two procedures of interest to curve tracing.
  • ESD Testing:  There are a variety of test methods like CDM, HBM, MM but all of them are basically a go-no go test where the pins of a device are subjected to the electrical ESD pulse and then tested to see if they failed.  This testing is universally some form of curve tracing (even if it is just one sample).  In some cases the curve tracing resource is built into the ESD Zapping equipment but other times it is not ot that ESD Zapping tool is in such demand as to make it practical to offload the curve tracing task onto another tool like the MultiTrace.  Furthermore the MultiTrace offers greater sensitivity and more test conditions for curve tracing than possible in the ESD tool making the MultiTrace an attractive tool to back up ESD testing
  • Latch Up Testing:  This test is still required to qualify most new IC designs prior to delivery to a customer.  The MultiTrace is fully compatible with all current Latch Up specifications like JESD 78B and is adept at Characterization and Qualification style of testing.  In a qualification test the operator just wants to see if it meets the requirement.  In a characterization, the operator makes settings to a wider range in search of the failure point even though it may exceed the required spec.  In some cases the analyst will trigger the latch up event while in an emission microscope to find the point of failure.  The MultiTrace offers excellent flexibility when making these types of adjustments.
  • Basic Failure Analysis:  ESD groups generate a lot of failed devices in the course of testing.  Virtually every device subjected to ESD testing has some failures.  The analytical needs of the ESD group could outstrip the FA department resources, in this case the Reliability engineer may engage in the same root cause failure analysis as the FA engineer and thus need all the same tools for a slightly different goal.