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Chip and System Reliability Experts Assemble

The annual International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) expands system reliability coverage to complement traditional microelectronics focus.

By John Blyler, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Reliability, Maintainability and Supportability in Systems Engineering

Systems reliability continues to grow as an important subject at the 2017 IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS), which starts on April 2nd in Monterey, CA. The 54 year old symposium covers the range of reliability physics concerns for current technologies and “continues to explore the connection between transistor physics of failure and system reliability.” For the latter, this year’s topics will include discussions on functional clones, telemetry, COTS, physics- and data-driven models, and organizational impacts on reliability. Here’s a brief summary of each:

Today’s Functional Electronic Clones

“The most worrisome aspect of “made from scratch” fakes is their ability to easily pass current inspection processes and electrical testing to the manufacturer’s data sheet. Advanced counterfeiters today are performing both “reverse-engineering” and “functional-die-emulation” manufacturing processes.” — Tom Sharpe, SMT Corporation

Telemetry for Reliability

“Knowledge-based qualification (KBQ) of integrated circuit (IC) products includes predicting product failure in the field over time for failure mechanisms. Field failure depends on product usage, and more directly on the use conditions (UCs) associated with usage, such as time at voltage and temperature which are direct inputs to failure models. … One method to acquire UC data is to measure product UCs on a test system in a lab environment while executing benchmarks and workloads which represent user behavior. Another method is to acquire UC data from users in the field by telemetry using software-based collectors installed on the users’ systems.” — R. Kwasnick, et al, Intel

NASA Past, Present, and Future: The Use of COTS in Space

“NASA has a long history of using commercial grade electronics in space. In this submission, we will provide a brief history of NASA’s trends and approaches to commercial grade electronics focusing on processing and memory systems. This will include providing summary information on the space hazards to electronics as well as NASA mission trade space. We will also discuss developing recommendations for risk management approaches to Electronic and Electromechanical (EEE) parts usage in space.  Two examples will be provided focusing on a near-earth Polar-orbiting spacecraft as well as a mission to Mars. The final portion will discuss emerging trends impacting usage.” — Kenneth A. LaBel, Steven M. Guertin, NASA

Hybrid Physics Based-Data Driven Approach for Reliability Allocation of Early Stage Products

“This paper presents a novel approach for reliability demonstration of a product operating in dynamic time varying environment. The device is subjected to mechanical loads, humidity and temperature swings whose magnitude is uncertain a-priori. The primary goal of this paper is to extract mission profile from field data. A second goal is to design accelerated reliability tests that accurately represent field conditions.” — Amit A. Kale, Amit Marathe, Jiayuan Meng, Ajay Kamath, Matt Rogge, Ali-Reza Bahmandar, Google

[Editor’s note: For me, the keywords here are “physics and data based” modeling approaches. The data-based inputs add a degree of real-time variation to the traditional physics-base equations.]

Reflections on the risk of human space exploration – lessons learned from past failures

(First Keynote) “… Studying the lessons learned from the Challenger and Columbia accidents, as well as similarities in those two tragedies, provides a prospective of cultural, organizational, and management failures that can occur in any engineering organization managing extremely complex systems operated in high risk environments.” — Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg NASA Astronaut; Principal Engineer, NASA Engineering and Safety Center

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