Smart AI-based tools for ensuring reliable electronic devices for smart mobility and industrial production

09 Mar 2021

The Failure Analysis (FA) 4.0, a co-labelled EURIPIDES² and PENTA project, is addressing a fundamental challenge for the digital world: how to ensure increasingly complex electronic systems operate with complete reliability and safety in daily use.

As digitalisation and automation rapidly advance, complex electronic systems and components will play an ever-bigger role in everyday life, enabling innovations from self-driving vehicles to smart homes. Even industrial production itself is becoming ‘smarter’ and more automated. These advances will help to improve the quality of life in our homes and cities; as well as making industry more efficient. However, to do this, the electronics at the heart of each product must operate safely and reliably at all times, especially in safety-critical applications such as automotive. In developing a smart approach to further improve failure analysis methods, tools and workflows by introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and sharing data throughout the design and manufacturing process, FA 4.0 will provide to tackle these crucial challenges.

Failure analysis is a process that allows the designers and manufacturers of semiconductor chips, printed circuit boards and other electronic components and systems to analyse, understand and avoid defects and failure risks during development and manufacture. However, failure analysis is currently a manual, time-consuming process, and test data is not shared between different design and manufacturing steps.

By applying breakthroughs in the field of AI research and data correlation, FA 4.0 intends to develop a holistic approach, that combines largely automated diagnostic tools in an efficient FA workflow process. The project will draw on the combined expertise of leading European electronics companies, SMEs and research institutes, to deliver key innovations in next generation diagnostic methods, tools and workflows as well as smart algorithms for identification and cataloguing of failures.

The challenge is both fundamental and highly demanding as the technologies used to create high performance electronic devices, components and systems (ECS) are constantly evolving. Devices are becoming ever smaller, with more densely packed functionality on each tiny device; plus, new materials, new types of assembly and packaging, and new ways of connecting devices into circuits are rapidly emerging.

At the same time, as demand for applications such as autonomous driving, smart industry, energy efficiency and medical applications grows, reliability and quality are becoming an essential requirement for high-tech products to enter the market. Thus, the outcomes of the FA 4.0 project will be highly important to deliver the benefits of digitalisation for society and their resulting economic impact. They will allow European companies to create innovative electronic products and the failure analysis tools necessary to increase reliability and quality while reducing product development time and costs. The European electronics industry will be ensured to access the strategic future markets, particularly in safety critical applications. European failure analysis equipment manufacturers will have new opportunities in their global market segment of diagnostic tools as well.

Read the full press release here.