The Importance of Conducting Burn-In Tests for Semiconductor Devices

“In electronic products, burn-in testing detects and discards defective solid-state electronic components before they reach the market or are assembled.”

We have been able to develop and apply excellent techniques for predicting the future of systems designed by humans, even though humans cannot predict their future. However, systems can be protected against damages and failures using these techniques, including traditional analytical methods, load tests, simulations, and machine learning predictions. For example, burn-in testing in semiconductor devices is a technique by which components are subjected to failure conditions before being assembled into a system. The test is designed where certain failure conditions are applied to the components under supervision, and the load capacities of the components are analyzed. As a result of this test, the reliability of the components used in the system can be improved.

The Significance of Burn-In Testing

In electronic products, burn-in testing detects and discards defective solid-state electronic components before they reach the market or are assembled. With the development of semiconductor electronics, burn-in testing has become a crucial industry procedure for ensuring quality. Other than semiconductor components, PCBs, ICs, and processor parts are tested under burn-in conditions.

The burn-in test involves applying electrical and thermal stresses in a supervised manner to the device to induce inherent failures. The semiconductor failure types fall into the following categories:

1. Early failures occur during the initial stages of device operation. With time, the frequency of early failures decreases.

2. Random failures occur over a relatively long time, and their occurrence is also constant.

3. The wear-out failures usually occur toward the end of the component’s shelf life. The component increasingly undergoes wear-out shortcomings when compared to the rate of occurrences of early and random failures.

A burn-in test can help to reduce early failure rates. Latent defects in semiconductors can be detected from burn-in tests. Upon device operation, the latent defects become evident because of the voltage stress and heating applied to the device. Most early failures can be attributed to defective manufacturing materials and errors that occur during production. Through a burn-in test, only components with a low probability of premature failure are released for sale.