Friday, August 31, 2012

DfR Solutions at Solar Power International in Orlando Sept 11th-14th

I will be giving a presentation at Solar Power International in Orlando on Long Term Operations, Maintenance, and Warranties, Tuesday, September 11,  2012 from 2:30pm - 4:00pm.  In this presentation, we will address clarity among manufacturer, developer and installer responsibilities through solutions for O&M and warranties. This session will compare and contrast warranty tools for end-users under ownership, PPA, and lessee arrangements and review the responsibilities and liabilities for ongoing O&M.

As always, if you are interested, I would be happy to set up a time to visit your facility and provide you and your colleagues a brief technical presentation on a number of Reliability topics. I am also available to demonstrate DfR Solutions newest software tool, Sherlock. Sherlock is a first-of-its kind Automated Design AnalysisTM software for analyzing, grading, and certifying the reliability of products at the circuit card assembly level.

If you would like to schedule a visit to your facility and a demonstration of Sherlock, contact me!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Join Me At SMTA International in Orlando on Mon, October 15 for a tutorial on a New Approach to Tin Whisker Mitigation


A New and Better Approach to Tin Whisker Mitigation NEW!

 Register here!

Cheryl Tulkoff, DfR Solutions
Monday, October 15 | 1:30pm – 5:00pm | Europe 9

Course Objectives
Tin whiskers are hair-like single crystal metallic filaments that grow from tin films. Their unpredictability is the greatest concern and the Aerospace and Defense industries consider tin whiskers the, "greatest reliability risk associated with Pb-free electronics".
The potential failure modes include:
- Direct contact causing an electrical short (arcing). This requires whisker growth of sufficient length and in the correct orientation
- Electromagnetic (EM) Radiation where the whisker emits or receives EM signal and noise at higher frequencies and causes deterioration of the signal for frequencies above 6 GHz. This is independent of whisker length.
- Debris which results from a whisker which breaks off and shorts two leads (primarily during handling). Mitigation efforts can fail when only one source of stress is accounted for. For example, if a Ni layer is used to prevent stress from IMC formation, this will not address whisker formation due to corrosion or external pressure.
All the potential sources of stress for a particular application should be considered in the whisker mitigation process. The various sources of compressive stresses that drive whisker growth are rather well understood but to effectively mitigate tin whisker growth one needs to ensure actions are taken to address ALL sources of stress in an application. A checklist can be used as an aid in this endeavor. This approach would offer a more cost effective and better method of whisker management than the current focus on long term environmental testing.

Who Will Benefit
Design engineers, component/supplier quality engineers, reliability engineers

Topics Covered

  • What are tin whiskers?
  • What are the potential failure modes?
  • Where have tin whiskers caused failure?
  • Root causes of whiskers
  • Drivers
  • Mitigation
  • Sources of compressive stress
  • New approach to mitigation
  • Proposed checklist
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    Join Me At SMTA International in Orlando on Mon, October 15 for a Pad Cratering Tutorial!

    Pad Cratering: Prevention, Mitigation, and Detection Strategies

    Monday, October 15, 2012, 8:30am to 12pm EDT

    Pad cratering is defined as cracking which initiates within the laminate during a dynamic mechanical event such as In Circuit Testing (ICT), board depanelization, connector insertion, and other shock and vibration inducing activities. 

    In this course, you'll learn the key drivers, measurement and detection protocols, and preventive tactics for this serious but prevalent failure. Pad cratering was first recognized in BGA packages but newer leadless,bottom termination components are also vulnerable. 

    Who Will Benefit
    Design, manufacturing, and failure analysis engineering professionals

    Topics Covered
    • Introduction
      • Pad cratering defined
      • Pad cratering drivers
      • Is pad cratering a Pb-free issue?
      • At-risk components
    • Testing methodologies
      • Overview of IPC industry test standards
      • Alternative test methods
    • Detection methods
      • Overview of IPC industry test standards
      • Alternative test methods
    • Failure analysis techniques
      • Cross-sectioning
      • Dye-N-Pry
      • X-ray
    • Mitigation techniques
      • ICT fixture evaluation
      • Assembly process evaluation
      • Process specifications
      • More compliant solder
      • New acceptance criteria for laminate materials
      • Require reporting of fracture toughness and elastic modulus
    • Prevention methods & future work
      • Board redesign
      • Zeta cap

    Don't miss out! Register here.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    DfR in Australia September 2-17

    Craig Hillman will be visiting companies and clients in Sydney, Australia, and is available to discuss a wide range of topics, including system-level reliability assurance, reliability management, and customer satisfaction. If you are interested in having Craig visit your facility, contact June Caswell.

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    DfR at iMAPS Nordic in Denmark: September 2-4

    Petri Savolainen will be presenting two papers at the iMAPs Nordic conference. The first will be on "Harsh Environments and Electronics" and the 2nd will be on "Predicting the Reliability of Zero Level TSVs" at this local event. For more information please contact Petri Savolainen.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    The Five Do's and Don'ts of EMI/EMC

    Speaking of good design, do EMI/EMC issues have you ready to explode? Plan ahead with good design practices using these top five rules of EMI/EMC design, provided to us by our partner facility, MET Labs. For additional assistance on EMI/EMC, contact Ron Wunderlich.

    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    Check out DfR's Google Calendar!

    Look for DfR at upcoming events, conferences, webinars, and sales visits that may be in your area on our link to Google Calendar. For more information on a specific activity, please contact June Caswell.

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    DfR at DMSMS in New Orleans, LA: August 27-30

    Walt Tomczykowski will be attending this key conference as the lead for System Supportability. Walt will have time to visit with customers at the conference. To arrange a time to meet with Walt, contact June Caswell.

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    It's Raining, It's Pouring!

    Moisture is one of the most challenging environments for electronics. OEMs constantly struggle on how to pick the right test to qualify their products. In one of the only comprehensive overviews ever published, DfR Solutions provides clear guidance on how to perform moisture testing, with key insight provided on temperature/humidity, cyclic humidity, and water spray testing. For more information, contact Ed Dodd.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    DfR Solutions Invited to Join Automotive Electronics Council (AEC)

    DfR Solutions is proud to announce its membership in the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC). This industry-leading organization is one of the only technical bodies that is developing solutions for high quality, high reliability electronic components from the OEM perspective. For more information on DfR's engagement with the automotive industry, contact Jim McLeish.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    DfR's Jim McLeish published in Auto Electronics Magazine

    Jim McLeish recently had an article published in Auto Electronics. Physics of Failure Durability Simulations Accelerate Development and Improve Reliability and Safety of Automotive Electronics highlighted the increasing trend of using state-of-the-art modeling and simulation tools to reduce or eliminate lengthly and costly design verification (DV) and product validation (PV) testing. For more information on this opportunity to accelerate time to market, contact Jim McLeish.

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    0201 and 01005 Parts: It's a Small World After All!

    Introduced over 10 years ago, very small chip components (0201 and 01005) have proliferated throughout the industry. Or have they? In this ground-breaking industry wide survey, DfR demonstrates that implementation of very small passives has been limited and provides insight on how the majority of OEMs are cautious on this potentially unproven technology (especially for capacitors). For more information on the risks, rewards and how to successfully implement 0201, contact Cheryl Tulkoff.

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    DfR's Petri Savolainen presents at CORPE Workshop in Aalborg, Denmark on August 21

    Petri Savolainen will be giving a presentation at the Center of Reliable Power Products (CORPE) Workshop on the successful reliability modeling and simulation of power supply electronics. For more information, please contact Petri Savolainen.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    DfR's Greg Kittlesen is in the Bay Area August 14-17

    Gregg Kittlesen will be visiting customers and clients in the Bay Area and is available to have technical discussions on optoelectronics, component qualification, foundry qualification, and the use of Sherlock to accelerate time to market. If you would like Dr. Kittlesen to visit your facility, please contact June Caswell.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    DfR at University of Arkansas EpsCor Meeting in Fayetteville, AR: Aug 12-15

    Greg Caswell is on the Advisory Board for the (Generating Renewable Energy with Efficient Nanoplasmonic Solar Cells, GREEN); and smart energy grid research (Vertically Integrated Center for Transformative Energy Research, VICTER) projects. If you would like to meet with Greg while he is in your area please contact June Caswell.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    IEEE Austin COMSOC/SP Chapter Meeting at AT&T, Arboretum

    Event Date:   Thu, Aug 16 2012 - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    IEEE Austin COMSOC/SP Chapter Meeting
    August 16, 2012
    AT&T Labs
    9505 Arboretum, Rm #220
    Topic: "Fan Control and Temperature Sensing with AMD's SB900-Series Southbridge"
    Presenter: Dr. Ali Akbar Merrikh, AMD
    Present work is an advisory to platform and system design engineers for implementing fan control and temperature sensing using AMD SB900 Integrated Micro-Controller (IMC). The temperature and fan-control features of the AMD SB900 are comparable to the existing discrete remote-temperature sensors (RTS) and fan controllers. In addition to analog (remote diode) support, the IMC fan control directly supports AMD's digital temperature sensor, the Sideband Temperature Sensor Interface (SB-TSI), as well as other SMBus-based remote temperature sensors. Our goal is to demonstrate the capability of the mentioned device in today's computers including low-power, mobile, and desktops.
    ***** FREE F&B *****
    Please reserve your seat at:

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    IEEE Central Texas Consultants Network Meeting on Wed Aug 22nd

    Smart Solar Power System Controller
    This talk will be about the commercial and utility-scale PV installations market and the latest technology in energy management and monitoring tools that includes artificial intelligence for decision-making and risk management. 
    John Merritt 
    John has over 30 years of technical marketing, technology commercialization, and product launch experience.  Prior to joining Solar Power Technologies as VP of Field Operations, John spent several years as a business development consultant to Clean Tech companies.  He co-founded Traq-Wireless and NetSolve, and also worked at Dallas Semiconductor, and Motorola.  Mr. Merritt has a BS in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas.
    Wednesday,  August 22, 2012

    Networking at 6:00 pm; Business and Program from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
    $5.00 minimum charge for the restaurant.  Supper is at optional extra cost.
    Not required.  All interested parties are invited to attend.  For more information, go to:
    PoK-e-Jo's Restaurant
    2121 W. Parmer Lane at Lamplight Village, Austin TX 78727
    Do a friend a favor.  Bring your colleagues to grow the Consultants Network.

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Please help iNEMI identify critical components for medical devices!

    Click here to access survey.

    We invite you to participate in the iNEMI survey, Identification of Critical Components for Medical Devices.

    This survey was developed by the iNEMI Component Specifications for Medical Devices Project team. Today, there are no standard medical industry specifications for the qualification of components or their suppliers. Every component that is purchased for high-reliability medical products must be individually qualified. This situation increases costs for component manufacturers since every medical device OEM can have different requirements. This high cost of business can make the component manufacturers unresponsive to the medical device market. The lack of standard specifications adds time and cost to the introduction of new components, new technologies and, ultimately, new products. This iNEMI project will address these issues by identifying and defining a set of component-level reliability qualification methods for electronic components used in implantable and wearable medical devices. The goal is to develop specifications that can be accepted by device OEMs as well as supported by component suppliers.

    Focus of Survey
    This iNEMI survey - Identification of Critical Components for Medical Devices - will be used to determine the selection of the most relevant components to be considered by the project team. We appreciate you taking 10 minutes to complete and submit the survey.

    We plan to close the survey on October 1st, so please give us your input as soon as possible. Feel free to pass information about this survey!

    For further information about the survey or to join the project, contact