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To guarantee an industry standard of reliability in ICs, manufacturers incorporate special testing techniques into the circuit manufacturing process. For most electronic devices, the specific reliability required is quite high, often producing a lifespan of several years. Testing such devices for reliability under normal operating conditions would require a very long period of time to gather the data necessary for modeling the device's failure characteristics. Under this scenario, a device might become obsolete by the time the manufacturer could guarantee its reliability. High-voltage stress testing (HVST) is common in IC manufacturing, but publications comparing it with other test and burn-in methods are scarce. This article shows that the use of HVST can dramatically reduce the amount of required burn-in.
Date of Publication: March-April 2006