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Reliability, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date Jun 1998

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Displaying Results 1 - 15 of 15
  • Reliability life-testing and failure-analysis of GaAs monolithic Ku-band driver amplifiers

    Page(s): 119 - 125
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    `Gallium-arsenide monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) Ku-band driver amplifiers were life tested under accelerated high temperature, DC and RF conditions until failure. These MMIC are used in various applications such as radar and satellite communication systems. The failure mechanisms controlling their reliability must be understood in order to improve the lifetime for these and other applications. This paper discusses the experimental procedures, statistical evaluation of the data and failure analysis of the devices. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of RF life testing of dual-gate driver amplifiers. The majority of the devices failed catastrophically due to high drain current, while others failed parametrically due to low output power. Failure analysis indicates that degradation of the Si3N4 dielectric layer to be the main failure mechanism in these MMIC. Statistical analysis revealed an activation energy of 0.87 eV and a median lifetime of 5.8·104 hours at 140°C channel temperature, which is consistent with surface-phenomena failure mechanisms View full abstract»

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  • An implicit method for incorporating common-cause failures in system analysis

    Page(s): 173 - 180
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    A general procedure incorporates common-cause (CC) failures into system analysis by an implicit method; i.e., after first solving the system probability equation without CC failures. Components of subsets are assumed to be equally vulnerable to CC of any particular multiplicity. The method allows for age-dependent hazard rates, repairable and nonrepairable components, systems with multiple CC groups, and systems where not all components are statistically-identical or subject to CC failures. Key equations are given both for reliability block-diagrams and fault-trees (success and failure models), considering the system reliability, availability and failure intensity functions. Initial failures and certain human errors are included, mainly for standby-system applications. The implicit method can dramatically simplify the Boolean manipulation and quantification of fault trees. Possible limitations and extensions are discussed View full abstract»

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  • A metric for estimating the fault-secure behavior of digital circuits

    Page(s): 147 - 154
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    A new fault secure metric (FSM) for design analysis of digital circuits is presented; it can be applied at a very early stage of the design cycle. A set of FSM models is also presented; they calculate the FSM of a circuit directly from its structural attributes. The quantities used in these FSM models are measurable from circuit analysis, and directly depend on measurable attributes of the circuit; thus the subjectivity of the FSM is minimal. The FSM models are consistent, in that only the attribute input values change for a specific circuit application. Hence, the cost of obtaining a figure of merit depends only on the cost of determining the circuit's attributes. This consistency also lends itself to automation of attribute measurements and FSM calculations. The FSM can be used to evaluate the FSM of a design, as well as the relative FS performance of various circuit design techniques. A case study using a 2-rail encoded test circuit demonstrates the validity of the FSM. The FSM models directly depend on measurable attributes of the circuit, so that the subjectivity of the FSM is minimal, and they are consistent, in that only the attribute input values change for a specific circuit application. Hence, the cost of obtaining a figure of merit depends only on the cost of determining the circuit's attributes. This consistency lends itself to automation of attribute measurements and FSM calculations. The validity of the FSM has been demonstrated for a 2-rail test circuit design View full abstract»

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  • Parameter estimation for the 3-parameter Gamma distribution using the continuation method

    Page(s): 188 - 196
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    This paper shows a maximum-likelihood (ML) parameter estimation algorithm for the 3-parameter Gamma distribution. The algorithm, a combination of the continuation method and the extended Gamma distribution model, can find the local ML estimates of the parameters without a careful selection of the starting point in the iterative process. This algorithm is more efficient than previous algorithms, and can find the multiple local ML estimates View full abstract»

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  • Series-parallel reductions in Monte Carlo network-reliability evaluation

    Page(s): 159 - 164
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    Monte Carlo simulation appears to be very useful in the evaluation of K-terminal-reliability of large communication systems because the exact algorithms are extremely time consuming. This paper shows that the well-known series-parallel reductions can be incorporated in the recursive variance reduction simulation method, leading to a more efficient estimator, as demonstrated by experimental results View full abstract»

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  • Predicting system-failure risk from unanticipated fiber-breaks in manufacturing

    Page(s): 126 - 130
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    A method is proposed to extract useful information from product that fails in manufacturing due to an unpredictable and unknown source of damage. The method requires that the failure mechanism of damaged product be well understood. Estimated parameters include fraction of damaged product, and probability of a product failure in useful (system) life. It is used to predict the risk of an optical-fiber break during the 25-year life of an undersea telecommunication network, from data on unanticipated fiber breaks that occurred during its manufacturing. The method is a way of predicting risk of product failure in high reliability applications where risk of failure is dictated, not by design deficiencies, but by occasional manufacturing defects introduced by accidents or unknown sources View full abstract»

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  • Continuous-state system-reliability: an interpolation approach

    Page(s): 181 - 187
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    Reliability theory has grown from binary-state systems to multi-state and continuous-state systems. However, structure functions for continuous systems cannot always be specified via a finite set of boundary points (minimal-paths and minimal-cuts in the binary case) as they can for discrete systems. The authors propose a process by which a structure function for a continuous system is built with limited input. This method is based upon scattered-data interpolation (SDI) to input data provided by the customer. The SDI technique is the Hardy multiquadric method. Guidance is given on appropriate choices for multiquadric parameters, and comparisons are made between SDI results and theoretical results for several continuous-model structure functions. The topic of how statistical-coherence can be assured in the resulting interpolation is explored View full abstract»

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  • Radiation hardness of static random-access-memory tested using dose-to-failure and gamma-ray exposure

    Page(s): 155 - 158
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    A dose-to-failure, which is extracted by measuring the number of error bytes as a function of dose, is proposed and then demonstrated to be an ideal parameter for radiation-hardness test of a static random-access-memory (SRAM). The radiation exposure is performed using the Co-60 gamma ray. The test conditions of dose rate, power-supply voltage, and temperature must be specified. The possible mechanisms for the changes of radiation hardness at various test conditions are explained. The radiation hardness tests of SRAM are useful for the practical assessment of integrated circuit (IC) reliability View full abstract»

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  • A critique of the Reliability Analysis Center failure-rate-model for plastic encapsulated microcircuits

    Page(s): 110 - 113
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    As the use of plastic encapsulated microcircuits (PEM) has escalated in the electronics industry, especially in applications in which “mission” success must be accomplished at “any cost”, some researchers have proposed reliability models to predict their failure rates or mean times-to-failure. One organization that took on such a challenge was the US Dept. of Defense (DoD) Reliability Analysis Center (RAC). Despite its admirable aims, the model has inherent limitations which result in unrealistic predictions, which could negatively affect parts selection, environmental management and logistics support. This paper presents an analysis of the model developed by the RAC View full abstract»

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  • Testing exponentiality of the residual life, based on dynamic Kullback-Leibler information

    Page(s): 197 - 201
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    This paper proposes a test-of-fit for exponentiality of the residual life (TF-ERL) based on the estimated dynamic Kullback-Leibler information. TF-ERL applies when the exponential parameter is or is not specified under the null hypothesis. Asymptotic properties of TF-ERL are discussed. In particular, the TF-ERL is shown to be a statistically consistent test of the null hypothesis for all alternatives. Small-sample null tail probabilities are derived; critical values are tabulated; and its use is shown in an example. Monte-Carlo simulation is used to compute the power of TF-ERL under various alternatives; it performs well in terms of its power View full abstract»

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  • Pitfalls of accelerated testing

    Page(s): 114 - 118
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    Accelerated tests are used to obtain timely information on product life or performance degradation over time. Test units are used more frequently than usual or are subjected to higher than usual levels of accelerating variables like temperature and voltage. Then the results are used, through an appropriate physically-based statistical model, to make predictions about product life or performance over time, at the more moderate use conditions. The extrapolative predictions inherent in the use of accelerated testing raise serious concerns, and the use of accelerated testing has many dangerous pitfalls. This paper warns potential users about some of these pitfalls View full abstract»

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  • Accelerated life testing for micro-machined chemical sensors

    Page(s): 135 - 141
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    Reliability and quality assurance are a major concern in the semiconductor industry. However, when developing a new mass-production technology, like micro-machined silicon-based devices, these aspects become particularly critical. Indeed, silicon-based thin-film tin-dioxide gas-sensor reliability has not been deeply studied; most of the completed studies address thick-film devices made on alumina substrates. New test-methods and equipment must be engineered to meet the ever-increasing expectations of the marketplace. This paper justifies the need for new accelerated tests for chemical sensors. A new method which allows `stressing the entire device structure' has been implemented. Test results obtained using this new approach allow us to evaluate the sensor reliability in the range of the requirements of applications using gas sensors View full abstract»

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  • Inferences on a simple step-stress model with type-II censored exponential data

    Page(s): 142 - 146
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    This paper presents the inferences of parameters on the simple step-stress model in accelerated life testing with type-II censoring. An exponential life distribution with a mean that is a log-linear function of stress, and a cumulative exposure model are assumed. Maximum likelihood methods are used to estimate the parameters of these models. Hypothesis tests about model parameters are discussed. Confidence intervals for parameter-estimates are constructed using a pivotal quantity. The advantage of these results is that they apply to any sample size. A numerical example illustrates the inferential procedure View full abstract»

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  • Redundancy optimization for series-parallel multi-state systems

    Page(s): 165 - 172
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    This paper generalizes a redundancy optimization problem to multi-state systems, where the system and its components have a range of performance levels-from perfect functioning to complete failure. The components are: (1) chosen from a list of products available in the market; and (2) characterized by their nominal performance level, availability and cost. System availability is represented by a multi-state availability function, which extends the binary-state availability. To satisfy the required multi-state system availability, the redundancy for each component can be used. A procedure which determines the minimal-cost series-parallel system structure subject to a multi-state availability constraint is proposed. A fast procedure is developed, based on a universal generating function, to evaluate the multi-state system availability. Two important types of systems are considered and special operators for the universal generating function determination are introduced. A genetic algorithm is used as an optimization technique. Examples are given View full abstract»

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  • A new model for step-stress testing

    Page(s): 131 - 134
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    The mathematical intractability of the Weibull cumulative exposure model (CE-M) has impeded the development of statistical procedures for step-stress accelerated life tests. Our new model (KH-M) is based on a time transformation of the exponential CE-M. The time-transformation enables the reliability engineer to use known results for multiple-step, multiple-stress models that have been developed for the exponential step-stress model. KH-M has a realistically appealing proportional-hazard property. It is as flexible as the Weibull CE-M for fitting data, but its mathematical form makes it easier to obtain parameter estimates and standard deviations. Maximum likelihood estimates are given for test plans with unknown shape parameter. The mathematical similarity to the constant-stress Weibull model is shown. Chi-square goodness of fit tests are performed on simulated data to compare the fit of the models View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Reliability is concerned with the problems involved in attaining reliability, maintaining it through the life of the system or device, and measuring it.

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Editor-in-Chief
Way Kuo
City University of Hong Kong