Cross-institute skills in quality assurance and reliability of materials, devices, assemblies, and systems

Quality and Reliability

As part of increasing production closeness and the addressing of higher technology readiness levels (TRLs), the investigation of reliability aspects is becoming more important within the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics. Reliability is evaluated at different levels of integration, starting from the system and passing over the electronics assembly, the interconnect device, the device itself, and the semiconductor, right up to rewiring and the transistor structures. To assure the quality of electronic systems, the Fraunhofer scientists in the Microelectronics Group are working on coming up with solutions for inspection along the entire added-value chain.

The cross-institute expertise in quality assurance and reliability of materials, devices, assemblies, and systems are multifaceted and are merged together within the strategic core competence "Quality and Reliability" in three central working areas:

Monitoring and characterization of semiconductor process technology

Characterization of active and passive devices, MOEMS, and smart systems (SoC)

Reliability evaluation, test, and service life analysis from the wafer level and the packaging to the overall systems

The semiconductor process technology working area comprises:

Structural, chemical, physical, electrical analysis of functional layers and materials

Nanoscale material characterization

Characterization of BEoL structures (interconnects) and of TSVs, microbumps etc.

Simulation and reliability models at the wafer level

Service life prediction models

The following investigations take place at the device, MOEMS, and smart systems level:

Modeling of the function and the deployment behavior

Electrical characterization of devices

Destructive and non-destructive testing of the functions and superstructures of devices and systems

Characterization of heterogeneous smart systems

Evaluation of SoC packages

With regard to system-related reliability testing, other testing, and service life analysis, the focus is on:

Non-destructive testing methods for quality control (inline-capable, high-resolution, fast)

Material characterizations for time-dependent processes, provision of simulation-compatible material models

Self-diagnostic capability of electronics

In-situ monitoring during testing (electrical, mechanical, visual)

Simulation-supported design for manufacturing, design for testability and design for reliability, DfX

New evaluation approaches for embedded electronics, structure-integrated sensoring

Characterization of materials for bio- and chemical sensoring

Service life prediction models for design engineering

Combined stress tests Monitoring of test equipment for assured process stability