Mini Power Cycles

Network capabilities must now accommodate increasing demands for data transmission from business and consumer customer bases over fixed access and wireless networks at any time of day or night. These high traffic operational modes, coupled with energy saving modes at the component level, have the potential to induce new reliability challenges by adding new types of thermomechanical stress and strain to equipment. Rapid and frequent mini-power cycling is now being coupled with the well-known stress from diurnal cycling and typical thermal operating conditions. Network operations have long avoided traditional power cycling because power cycles are known to degrade solder joint performance and reduce the life and performance of hardware. The advent of Sn-based, Pb-free alloys for solder assembly is expected to increase susceptibility to power cycling-induced damage.
Project stage: 
Project type: 
Lead company: 
NXP / Freescale

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Idea Information


New use paradigms for network infrastructure hardware are becoming more common place with the ubiquity of work and new energy saving use approaches. Many network operators are requiring features that minimize power use by adding intelligence to network equipment. This enables them to power down during low use time but provide nearly instant on when an increase in network traffic is required. These energy saving power modes can be applied at the component level and even to specific locations in an IC device.



Rapid and frequent mini-power cycling is now being coupled with the well known stress from diurnal cycling and typical thermal operations. The advent Sn-based, Pb-free alloysform assembly is expected to increase susceptibity to power cylcing induced damage.




Definition Information

Goals / Benefits: 
  • Build packaged heater die and test at package level.
  • Build and assemble test boards with 120 packages
  • Complete test matrix to be defined.


High level objectives: 

Determine if mini-power cycling has an impact on reliability.

Provide reccomendations for further work if indicated by testing.


Plan is to build Packaged heater chip to simulate microprocessor and test board. Then run power / Temp cycling simulaneously to map mini power cycles.

Key Participants: 
NXP / Freescale