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JEDEC JESD 226

2013 Edition, January 1, 2013

Complete Document

RF BIASED LIFE (RFBL) TEST METHOD



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Description / Abstract:

This stress method is used to determine the effects of RF bias conditions and temperature on Power Amplifier Modules (PAMs) over time. These conditions are intended to simulate the devices' operating condition in an accelerated way, and they are expected to be applied primarily for device qualification and reliability monitoring.

This method does not attempt to address stressing that would be used to determine acceleration factors for RF driven wear-out. Another form of high temperature bias life using a short duration, popularly known as burn-in, may be used to screen for infant mortality related failures. The applicability and detailed application of burn-in is also outside the scope of this document.

There is a lot of operational space between applying a sine wave on one input and operating a device "like it runs in a phone." This method is intended to refine and focus the myriad of biasing options down to a standard that can be applied industry-wide so that users of PAMs can gain confidence that devices successfully completing this test method will exhibit adequate reliability for the anticipated use conditions.

The tests described in this method are capable of stimulating and precipitating anomalous semiconductor device and packaging failures. The objective is to bring out anomalies in an accelerated manner compared to use conditions. Failure Rate projections usually require larger sample sizes than are called out in qualification testing. For guidance on assessing thermal acceleration factors refer to JEP118, Guidelines for GaAs MMIC and FET Life Testing. For guidance on projecting failure rates refer to JESD85, Methods for Calculating Failure Rates in Units of FITs. This method is not aimed at extreme use conditions such as military applications, automotive under-the-hood applications, or uncontrolled avionics environments, nor does it address 2nd level reliability considerations, which are addressed in JEP150.

The purpose of this test is for use to determine the effects of nominal DC and RF bias conditions and high temperature on Power Amplifier Modules (PAMs) over time. It simulates the devices' operating condition in an accelerated way, and is primarily intended for device qualification testing and reliability monitoring which stresses all of the modules' thermal and electrical failure mechanisms anticipated in typical use.

RF Biased Life (RFBL) is intended to supersede High Temperature Operating Life by providing a superset of aging conditions. RFBL and HTOL are considered exclusive methods in the life test regime. For example, if RFBL is performed, then no other product HTOL will be required. If we define traditional HTOL as a DC test and RFBL as the RF counterpart, then it really becomes a choice for which test best represents field stresses. For some parts with simple architectures, DC stress may adequately represent field conditions. In other cases, RF power may be necessary to truly exercise the product.