RF Failure Detection

RF measurements of signal paths are far more sensitive to incipient circuit (or solder joint) failure than our standard resistance measurements or event detectors. This project will use Accelerated Temp Cycle testing to compare RF measurement to DC measurement failure distributions in solder joint reliability testing. The project will determine if RF measurement of signal loss is a useful criterion for failure. The project may also compare RF measurement to event detection.

Project stage: 
Lead company: 
NIST

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Idea Information

Background: 
  • One of the benefits we obtained from the TSV projects is our understanding of the RF measurement technique that was pioneered at NIST
  • We propose to use this technique to start a new project
  • Instead of using TSVs for this work, we will use existing PCB designs and familiar components to generate a solder joint reliability study
  • We will compare DC measurements to RF measurements
  • Possibly we could use event detection in addition to or alternative to DC measurements
Problem: 

Many transmission lines on a high speed server or network board have signal budgets of 10dB or less. A 1 or 2 dB  loss on a solder joint could result in signal integrity failures.
This is comparable to the loss typical in a well designed FCBGA package
DC and event detectors find opens.

Perhaps this is too late! RF may be able to detect incipient failures earlier.

Proposed Approach:

  • Use ATC to compare RF measurement to DC measurement failure distributions in solder joint reliability testing
  • Determine if RF measurement is a useful method for determining a signal loss criterion for failure
  • Possibly also compare RF measurement to event detection

Definition Information

Public