Track 1 Session 5

9:10 to 10:10 a.m. Thursday March 29, 2012

Why You Cannot Predict Electronic Product Reliability

An accurate prediction of the field reliability of an electronic product during the development stage is, for obvious reasons, highly desirable. Many reliability prediction standards have been developed and applied for many years, and some "new" standards are constantly under development. However, when these methods and standards are carefully analysed, they all seem to be based on misleading or even incorrect assumptions. This presentation argues that reliability prediction of an electronic product is usually an exercise in futility, and all design engineers and technical managers should be aware of these serious shortcomings. However, the presentation concludes with examples on when reliability prediction may provide useful engineering knowledge.

Key Words: Reliability Prediction, Reliability Testing, Physics of Failure

Albertyn Barnard

Lambda Consulting

South Africa