In the world of new product development, failure analysis is another tool that can reduce costs and accelerate time to market. Failure analysis can be used to achieve a better understanding of the behavior of a microelectronic assembly after being stressed by the conditions from its application environment. In a thoughtful design, the environmental conditions in which a product is intended to function need to be considered carefully. Once these conditions have been determined, a life test profile is defined in order to simulate the environmental conditions in which the product will need to survive. When the life test profile is completed, a functional test is performed to evaluate whether the product is still operating according to customer specifications. The next step is to perform destructive and/ or non-destructive analysis of the product to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Analysis should always be conducted regardless of whether or not there is a confirmed failure.
In this stage of the new product development cycle a complete “lessons learned” review is in order. It is important to use all collected data to drive design and process improvements. This aligns with proven new product development strategies such as: test early, test often and concurrent engineering. The idea is to create early learning using failure analysis results in order to implement improvements before freezing the product design. The results of this “lessons learned” review drive action in the form of a Risk Analysis, PFMEA, DFMEA, other six sigma techniques and quality methods. Failure analysis is an effective tool for the development of microelectronic assemblies for new products. It can be used to understand the behavior of a part in the given application environment. A life test profile evaluates the effects of the environmental conditions against the design objectives and a developed manufacturing process. Functional testing and non-destructive/destructive analysis provides the lessons learned where immediate inputs to the new product development cycle can reduce development costs and time to market.