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Intelligent Reliability 4.0

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - iRel40 (Intelligent Reliability 4.0)

Reporting period: 2021-05-01 to 2022-04-30

General trend for electronic components and systems (ECS) is higher system integration driving increasing compactness and complexity at acceptable cost. iRel40 aims to find solutions to cope with the ever increasing complexity of reliability topics and to find processes, methods and digitized universal procedures.
Reliability is challenged on device and system level. This requires customer acceptance and must lead to their satisfaction. Reliability must be guaranteed, when using systems in new and critical environments (corrosive chemicals, extreme temperatures), where new materials must be used. To cope with customer satisfaction, there is need to predict the remaining life of a system. This topic named prognostics and health monitoring (PHM) refers to the process of predicting future reliability or determining the remaining useful lifetime of a product by assessing degradation of a product from its expected normal operating conditions.
iRel40 is important for the society as the results strengthen production along the value chain and support sustainable success of investment in European microelectronics. Through close collaboration between research institutes and industry on this challenging topic of reliability, the project secures more than 25.000 jobs in the 25 participating production and testing sites in Europe. The project supports new applications and reliable chips pushing important electronic markets like energy efficiency, e-mobility, autonomous driving, or IoT. This unique project brings, for the first time ever, world-leading reliability experts and European manufacturing expertise together to generate a sustainable pan-European reliability community.
iRel40 has one primary objective: Improve reliability by reducing the failure rate (measured in ppm). The project has 5 overall objectives:
• Define needs and requirements for future ECS applications to drive improvements and prediction of reliability along the value chain chip, package, board/system to foster Europe's competitiveness in ECS
• Implement data values chains and cross component data analytics to speed up the learning curves by 30%
• Double the predicted lifetime for specific materials and load conditions for ECS applications
• Early detection of unexpected quality relevant events along the ECS value chain by advanced and innovative control concepts
• Reduce the failure rates by 30% and enable life time prediction with connected and new test concepts along the ECS value chain.
The iRel40 project, which started May 1st 2020, consists of 75 partners from 13 European countries including Turkey. Three virtual General Assemblies (GA) weeks with all partners were organized until end of 2021. The first F2F meeting took place only after two project years May 16th to 20th 2022 at Istanbul (Turkey). A very successful GA week was set up by MarUn Univ. (see This meeting included sessions on project progress, WPx meetings, dedicated topical workshops (e.g. on artificial intelligence) and a use case workshop with posters.
Work packages WP1 and WP6 are the project envelope. They also include the pan-European network activities. All the four deliverables D1.1 to D1.4 of WP1 on specs and requirements, use case and test vehicle progress have been worked out. In WP6 the deliverables D6.1 and D6.2 which monitor especially the status of all 34 use cases, were finalized.
The detailed technical research and development work is covered in WP2 to WP5. In WP2, which includes R&D on “Analytics, Theory, Cognition and Prediction”, the eight planned deliverables were elaborated. These deliverables include e.g. results on data infrastructures, data collection methods, methodologies for data analysis and features extraction, new training data augmentation techniques, data value chains, AI/ML training data etc. Work on holistic approaches to PHM methodology is in full progress. In WP3, which includes R&D on “Advanced and Functional Materials and Interfaces”, good technical results have been achieved: 11 Milestones and a first deliverables have been reached until M24. Results were e.g. on barriers coating and mold materials. New test infrastructure for reliability testing under specified environmental conditions has been setup. The milestones included results on test facilities, coated test structures, quantitative assessment of sulfur uptake etc. WP4, which includes R&D on “Production and Development Excellence, is a core of iRel40. D4.1 to D4.4 have been worked out. They include first results on critical parameters, different feasibility studies, assembling and characterization of test samples, generation of manufacturing data sets to train AI, data structure and model concepts development. Also WP5, which includes R&D on “Holistic Testing Assessment”, made good progress. All five planned deliverables have been worked out. Work on concepts for increasing test coverage, reduce speed for reliability, AI based outlier detection and cognitive release methods, and reliability prediction by real time tests during system use is in full progress.
WP7 (Dissemination and Exploitation) made good progress towards increasing publications and disseminations activities (e.g. booths at EFECS 2020 and 2021 etc.). Meanwhile three iRel40 newsletter have been published, one more than planned.
In iRel40 34 use cases with focus on reliability improvement are in progress. In addition a magnitude of test vehicles have been defined, which are bricks for improving reliability. These test vehicles include dedicated materials, material interfaces, digital twins etc. They are typically applied to a use case.
In the second project period five key R&D areas for reliability improvement have been defined.
They allow a better explanation for the overall project story and highlight the important collaboration of the iRel40 consortium. These key R&D areas are:
- Materials, testing and predictions
- Multi-scale & multi-physics simulations for physics-of-degradation
- AI based control systems in advanced production
- Smart sensing and big data analysis
- Prognostic and health management / digital twin / condition monitoring

Progress in iRel40 will be achieved especially in respect to:
- Lower failure rates (ppm), increase lifetimes, drive customer satisfaction and reliability as key differentiator
- Optimized test procedures and new reliability tests for new requirements
- Reduced time to market due to faster learning curves in development and ramp up
- Speed up of time to market by preventing reliability issues and unnecessary design iterations
- Determination of the 'Physics of Failure' (PoF) for key failure modes and interactions
- Creation of commonly accepted PoF based design for reliability, testing, manufacturing, DfX methods based on calibrated models and validated numerical simulations
- Strategies for field data collection, feedback to development, prognostic health management (PHM) and autonomic development of ECS
- Enable prediction (PHM) and reduce cost by transition from a reactive to a predictive reliability understanding in the entire ECS value chain.
Reliability leads to longer lifetime of products, enables sustainability of electronic devices and thus products. Improved Reliability clearly supports the European "Green Deal" strategy and thus clearly demonstrates potential for socio-economic and societal implications.