Why Do Semiconductor Products Fail Through Production?

 Why Do Semiconductor Products Fail Through Production?

Product reliability testing is likely necessary if you are developing, manufacturing, or distributing a product that must perform its intended function for at least a set period. It ensures that a product will continue to perform as expected while being used in a specific environment.

Without going through the burn in test process or HTOL testing, any other scenario could lead to major problems in the marketplace because you won’t know when or how the product will fail. A well-designed product can fail even if it’s built to withstand the challenges of a comprehensive reliability test.

Why does a semiconductor product fail?

Precision and optimisation are required in all phases of a product’s lifecycle, from concept to market release. However, a product’s reliability and the causes of its failures are affected by several factors.

1. Design flaws

When something goes wrong, the fault may lie with the design. If the product melts through once, it goes through the system of burn in board, which means that the materials aren’t fit to work with the product.

If the limits were too low or the model was excessive, it may cause a sudden error on the product. Creators sometimes overlook reliability issues during the design phase. If you fail to choose the right material, it might result in spending more on other types.

2. Opting for cheap substitutes

During a burn in test process or HTOL testing, it stresses the products, and certain breakdowns might occur during the manufacturing process. However, during this process, there are possibilities of internal damage. One of the common causes is the substitution of one or more of the product’s original components. There are instances when materials are no longer accessible or available for use.

Makers then try to look for cheaper alternatives in the production process. However, while the materials may appear the same, the new ones may have far worse qualities than those intended for the product.

3. Wrong procedures

In some circumstances, most products don’t undergo the right reliability test. Through a burn in test, the system goes through paces for a long time to identify any issues.

When devices are tested for extended periods at high temperatures and bias conditions, a technique known as HTOL testing can identify the possible inherent defects. It is also known as a longer process than burning in.

Another stress test is the HAST system, which evaluates humidity resistance. Engineers will analyse the results of the stress tests once they are complete. It is to ensure that everything is working properly.

Whatever method a corporation uses, testing is a crucial technique to analyse and eventually improve the reliability of the product. Some companies also offer PCBA manufacturing to supply finished boards and sockets for testing.

Engineers use these stress tests as one of many methods to ensure semiconductor devices’ long-term viability and performance.

4. Production control

There are instances when a large percentage of a set of samples fail, even while a large percentage of the items made are working properly. It may be due to a problem with the production quality.

Supplier sample variances might lead to quality issues. In this case, you need to assess the materials’ characteristics periodically for quality assurance. The good news is that you can test each item carefully through a high-quality burn in board or HAST system chamber to see if there is any discrepancy.

5. Circumstances that affect product

When deciding on a method for dependability testing or looking into the cause of a failure, you must consider the environment around your area. Temperature fluctuations, excessive humidity, and corrosive surroundings are just a few examples of what might lead to equipment failure.

When deciding on a method for dependability testing, a HAST system chamber can determine the resistance of a test sample to moisture by raising the water vapour level. If you leave it in a cold area, you will know how your electronics will respond.

6. Excessive strain

Its critical limit is breached when your subject material, system, or part to excessive strain. It can cause overstress, including high temperatures, rapid temperature changes, high humidity or low humidity and chemical exposure.

Not unless you are fully equipped or prepared to undergo a manufactured burn in board, you must make sure that you properly store and include directions for use as a specification.

7. Degrading materials

Eventually, all products will begin to degrade and failures caused by wear progress slowly. In the final stages of a product’s usable lifespan, wear-related failures are not a cause for concern because they are a regular part of the product’s lifecycle.

What can be its root cause?


There should be a root cause analysis carried out immediately after a failure happens to discover what caused it and take appropriate action so that it doesn’t happen again.

In some cases, going through the burn in test process or HTOL testing may damage good products while identifying defective ones. Early failure detection can benefit you since you get to know the usable life of items you know are functional.

When a part or joint fails, engineers perform a failure analysis to determine what went wrong, how it went wrong, and whether or not a material defect was to blame. Using it, designers and manufacturers may make more reliable products by following a well-organised process.

While a system like burn in board is necessary, wetting saturation and unsaturated control from a HAST system chamber can also help you detect the root cause. Different environments can help you understand each response.

This way, you can find the solution to improve your product’s reliability. You can either change the material, find other alternatives or remove parts causing its failure. If you operate in an industry where the products are difficult to replace or important to the business’s success, you may need to detect failures as soon as possible.

Detect early signs of failure with the help of Trio-Tech International!


Are you looking for a high-quality burn in test and HAST system chamber? Check out the offered products and services of Trio-Tech International! They design and manufacture equipment and systems for semiconductor testing and production.

Laura Daniel