Technology Characterization & Reliability Simulation


Reliability - Fraunhofer IZM
© Fraunhofer IZM | Volker Mai

Achieving reliability for electronic packages and technologies is a necessary but also complex task. The application of reliability simulation models, which are based on valid characterisation data, can help to reduce the effort and gain additional insights that contribute to improved reliability.

The team applies and develops models that are used to evaluate the reliability of electronic components and assemblies. In this context, the focus is on thermal and thermo-mechanical degradation effects. The basis for these models is formed by realistic material properties, which are determined in-house. In addition, the models are validated by special deformation and stress measurements. This makes it possible to develop trustworthy models for new technologies for which models do not yet exist.

Current research topics cover: Warpage prediction in FO-WLP, FO-PLP and PCB-embedded packages; Reliability and ageing of RF-packages and materials; Advanced damage modelling in power electronics interconnection technologies; Reliability of substrates and via technologies.

Materials Characterization and Modeling

Image - Deformation eines EMC verkapselten Wafers (EMC verkapselt) nach der Prozessierung für das FO-WLP Packaging
© Fraunhofer IZM

Electronic systems are subjected to numerous environmental influences throughout their working life. Factors such as mechanical forces, temperature fluctuations and exposure to moisture can significantly impair the reliability.  In order to optimise the reliability of complex systems in the micro/nano range it is important to understand the development of material failures. In order to be able to describe deformation, damage and fracture in materials, either alone or in combinations, it is necessary to investigate loads under the appropriate conditions.

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Reliability: simulation, test and optimization

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Material Simulation

eliability: simulation, test and optimization cover the development and application of experiments and simulations which make it possible to "Design for Reliability". The basis is provided by life-time models determined in accelerated tests.

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Thermisches Management

image - Thermisches Management
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The increased power losses and loss densities of microelectronic components, power modules and LEDs present an important challenge for designers: heat must be spread out and conducted away if a system is to operate reliably over a long operational lifetime.

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System Reliability

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The safeguarding of the reliability begins in early design phases of the development process of a system. Existing systems can be optimized based on statistical methods.

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Reliability evaluation with FEM

teaser image - Zuverlässigkeitsbewertung mit FEM
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To identify weak points in the early stages of development, or to obtain the optimum geometry under consideration of external loads, finite element simulation (FE) are applied. By means of so-called multiphysics simulations, e.g. thermo-mechanical, electro-thermal, and electro-mechanical couplings can be considered. In addition, moisture diffusion and swelling can be calculated.

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Thermal Management

µ fragt nach: Komplexe Begriffe – einfach erklärt
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Current trends in vehicle electrification, miniaturization and increased switching frequencies mean that a sophisticated thermal management is required to ensure reliable operation even when high power dissipation, high heat flux densities and high ambient temperatures are encountered. By means of numerical simulation, the thermal behavior can be analyzed in a cost-effective and versatile way.

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Mechanical and Thermal Characterisation of Materials

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Precise materials data form the basis for reliable products. Understanding the properties of materials and knowledge of the relationship between production processes, stresses and failure mechanisms enables the improvement of processes and products.

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Structure Analyses

image teaser riss im bump
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Various approaches deal with microstructure-properties correlation of electronic relevant materials for high reliable microelectronic components. Thereby, the structural analysis is important for the basic understanding of material relevant relationships and is important for the further development of electronic components of next generation.

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Deformation Analyses

image teaser Si-Wafer
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It is important to know about the behaviour of electronic components in real-life conditions, when reliability is to be assured. One aspect is a possible deformation of the whole component or even parts of a system like single materials or substrates. The in-plane und out-of-plane deformation of materials or composites due to external loads or internal stresses can be investigated. Moreover the results can be used to validate FE-simulation results or to use a combination of FE-Simulation and measurement in order to control and reduce the observed warpage effect.

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Analysis and Testing System for the Reliability Assurance of Micro- and Nanoelectronic Material Composites

Key research areas:

  • Providing a platform of tools for rapid reliability prediction
  • Design optimization for the implementation of advanced technologies at the intersection between micro- and nano-scale
  • Product reliability optimization
  • Implementation of the latest nano-measurement techniques based on nano-simulation

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Independent testing programme assessing the lifetime of consumer products


In May 2019, the EU’s PROMPT project was launched to tackle e-waste: the aim is to establish an independent test program to evaluate the service life of consumer goods.

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Micro Materials Testing Lab

For the successful optimisation of the reliability of complex systems in the micro/nano range it is necessary to have knowledge about the failure behaviour of materials and of damage development.

In order to be able to precisely describe deformation, damage and crack behaviour of materials and composites, investigations are provided on stresses under the relevant operating conditions.

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High performance computing cluster allows extensive reliability-analysis

The demands on robustness and lifetime of electronic components, combined with decreasing development time, require methods that are able to derive the complexity of a system, evaluate it and indicate possible optimization potential in conceivable time. The use of numerical simulation methods offers the possibility to derive complex relationships between several design parameters (e.g. material properties or geometrical variations).

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Thermal and Environmental Analysis Lab

We offer thermal investigations of both - the materials and the systems. In order to be able to characterize thermal interface materials (TIM), a system was set up for determine heat conductivity and thermal resistance depending on the resistance relative to compression force. Infrared measurement techniques measure temperatures without any contact to detect errors in systems or components.

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Environmental & Reliability Engineering


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