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Effects of ramp rate and dwell time are studied through laboratory results and a nts (DOE) using finite element analysis (FEA) incorporating stress/strain and plastic work history. Results demonstrate that solder joint fatigue life is more sensitive to dwell time than ramp rate during thermal cycling. A nonlinear relationship exists between solder fatigue life (mean time to failure, MTTF) and dwell time. Increasing dwell time past 20 min has a minimal effect on the acceleration factor or lifetime. Modeling shows that the acceleration factor increases by a factor of 1.23 for a specific ball grid array (BGA) assembly when the test condition changes from a slow ramp/long dwell (single chamber) to a fast ramp/short dwell (dual chamber). Experiments were performed to validate the FEA modeling. Different ramp time/dwell times were achieved by modulating the temperature profile in a single chamber oven. If dwell time changes from 5 to 10 min with an invariant ramp time of 5 min, apparent MTTF decreases by 55%. However, if the invariant dwell time is 10 min, MTTF remains practically the same as the ramp time increases from 5 to 10 min. These test results are consistent with modeling predictions. The focus of temperature cycling tests should not be on number of chambers, nor upon ramp rate, but upon dwell time. We recommend 8 to 10 min dwell at a high temperature of 125°C.