Circuit Aging Becoming A Critical Consideration
By Ann Steffora Mutschler, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Jörg Grosse, Product Manager Functional Safety, OneSpin
Circuit aging was considered somebody else’s problem when most designs were for chips in consumer applications, but not anymore.
Much of this reflects a shift in markets. When most chips were designed for consumer electronics, such as smart phones, designs typically were replaced every couple of years. But with the mobile phone market flattening, and as chips increasingly are used in automotive, industrial and medical applications, reliability has become much more important. Aging is a major component of reliability, and concerns are even starting to spill over to chips designed for mobile phone devices. Numerous industry insiders say mobile phone OEMs are demanding that new chips last at least four years rather than two, and in other markets they may have to remain functional for up to 20 years.