Reliability and Failure Analysis of Electronic Components and Systems

The on-going miniaturization in the microelectronics and semiconductor technologies has lead to a significant increase of requirements on electronic components and systems. Due to the complexity and variety of possible fault mechanisms, failures and malfunctions can present a serious challenge especially for SMEs. Based on their long-term experience and expertise, the scientists at Fraunhofer EMFT support their customers with a portfolio of services in the area of failure analysis of electronic components and systems, including process consulting services. 

X-ray inspection of a PCB.
© Fraunhofer EMFT / Bernd Müller
X-ray inspection of a PCB.

The technological know-how of the Fraunhofer EMFT experts, combined with the modern measurement and analysis capabilities, enable an extensive offering of multiparametic characterizations and qualification tests for electronic components and systems. Under laboratory conditions, simulation of physical parameters as well as measurement of reactions of components to these parameters - alone or in combination with others - is possible. Based on suitable stress tests and environmental simulations, manufacturing defects and relevant weak spots can be identified, allowing an estimation of the reliability and service life of the components and modules. 

The systematic analysis provides the fundament for respective product and process optimization at the customers’ site. Above that, destructive and non-destructive inspections enable quality assurance of manufacturing processes. 

Overview of the Analytics and Material Testing Services

The Fraunhofer EMFT expertise covers a wide spectrum of requirements, based on delivery specifications and acceptance criteria as well as international standards from various industries, such as aerospace (ESA), automotive incl. suppliers, medical technology or industrial electronics.

  • Analytics using
    • Stereo microscopy
    • High resolution x-ray inspection incl. µCT
    • Metallographic ground preparation incl. inspection with optical microscope
    • Scanning electron microscope REM incl. EDX analysis
  • Assessment according to IPC, ESA or DIN
  • Qualification and reliability tests of circuit boards, electronic modules and tools
  • Metallographic solder join inspection for aviation and aerospace according to ESA (ESA-accepted qualification lab) or IPC
  • Risk analysis and process optimization as well as development or test methods and devices
  • Failure analysis
Stress test under monitoring of electronic modules
© Fraunhofer EMFT / Bernd Müller
Stress test under monitoring of electronic modules
Chapped stranded wires after cyclical current load
© Fraunhofer EMFT
Chapped stranded wires after cyclical current load
X-ray inspection of a QFN (Quad Flat No Leads Package)
© Fraunhofer EMFT
X-ray inspection of a QFN (Quad Flat No Leads Package)

Qualification and Reliability Tests

  • Module inspection according to IPC-J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610
  • Soldering point inspection and qualification according to IPC-J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 
  • Circuit board inspection according to  IPC-6012 (Rigid), IPC-6013 (Flex); IPC-6015 (MCM-L) and IPC-A-600
  • Solderability inspection of components and circuit boards according to DIN EN or IPC
  • Contamination inspection; Measurement of ionic residue of LP or BG
  • Qualification of solder-free connection techniques (crimp connections, pressfit technology, plug connectors)
  • Crimp inspection (voltage drop measurement, axial extension, life span)
  • Structural analysis and materials characterization
  • Touchless measurements of profile, roughness and layer thickness
  • Climatic inspection
    • Humidity-heat cyclic to +95°C and 98 %  r.H.
    • Temperature cycling test to +200°C and 10 k/min
    • Rapid temperature cycling to -80°C and 220°C
    • Temperature storage to +300°C
  • Active cyclic temperature change and power load tests
  • HAST (highly accelerated stress test)
  • Dew test with continuous control of the isolation resistance
  • Corrosion inspections
  • Thermography
  • Vibration inspection: Sinus form, wide band
  • Schock inspection to 5,9 kN
  • Traction/Pressure/Bending tests with climatic chamber and video recording
  • Combination of diverse inspection and measurement methods

These services in the area of failure analysis of electronic components and systems are available at Fraunhofer EMFT for your application topics. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Competence Area: Analysis and Test of Electronical Components and Systems


Technology Offering: Labs for Test and Analysis of Electronic Components and Systems


Service Offering: Electrical Interconnection Technologies

Project: Analyzing Causes of Connector Deterioration