A Reliability Strategy for Zero Field Failures in Automotive Electronics 2005-01-1398
In this paper, we present a reliability strategy to reduce the field failures in automotive electronics. OEMs and Suppliers dealing with automotive electronics could be in two scenarios with regards to electronics reliability: ‘bleeding’ or ‘improving health’. The first scenario is the one where electronic control modules are already deployed in the field and are causing warranty problems due to field failures. Current approach of performing accelerated testing to demonstrate reliability is clearly inefficient and not successful in reducing these warranty problems. An understanding of Physics-of-failure and well-designed accelerated tests is required to help stop ‘bleeding’ in case of event-driven reliability issues. A simulation-based PoF methodology will be presented in this paper to help understand the failure mechanism and solve the issue. The same methodology could be adapted with a different perspective in the second scenario when ‘improving health’ is the major point of emphasis. This is a proactive approach to reliability. For this purpose, PoF based simulation techniques are embedded into the product development process to obtain appropriate reliability metric for the life of the electronic control unit and the results of this analysis are used to design accelerated tests with relevant test profiles so that the failure mechanisms that matter are identified and fixed. Redesigns are reduced and lesser duration of testing is involved in this approach. This paper presents how these two scenarios and the PoF based ‘virtual qualification’ methodology fits into the product life assessment process and helps reduce reliability issues in automotive electronics.