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As dimensions shrink, the reliability considerations become more trivial. In deep sub-micron devices, at certain stages of processing, even an atomic layer variation can be a defect. Studies on the physical failure mechanisms in sub-micron devices reveals that the major reliability concerns are the same as that poses before scaling. A comprehensive overview on the reliability issues in ultra thin gate dielectrics and copper interconnect material is given to link how the physical effects on devices can be a threat to long-term reliability.