The key to continued reliability improvement is a fundamental understanding of the failure mechanisms that limit the lifetime of integrated circuits and microsystems. At IMO-IMOMEC, we developed a unique know-how and toolset for this purpose in the past decade. We have collaborated successfully with a large variety of companies in the microelectronics industry on critical reliability issues such as physics of failure mechanisms, reliability test structures and test methodologies as well as built-in reliability. By teaming up with other IMEC research groups, we will extend our collaboration with the industry in this challenging research area.
In modern microelectronics applications, the reliability requirements imposed by economical market forces are continuously increasing. Although these requirements depend strongly on the specific application area such as smartcards, telecom, automotive, system-on-chip, etc., the trend in failure rate is downwards, independent of the application.