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by Paul Ellerman,

Director of Reliability

pellerman@microsemi.com

Arrhenius HTOL Model

Scope

Establish a method for calculating the standard reliability values Failure Rate (),

Failures in Time (FIT) and Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) using the Arrhenius High

Temperature Operating Life (HTOL) model. The focus of this paper is to present the

applicable equations, terms and definitions along with an example of an Excel driven

reliability calculator used to perform these calculations.

Reliability is defined as the probability that a component or system will continue to

perform its intended function under stated operating conditions over a specified period of

time.

The reliability level is derived by monitoring the functional stability of a number of

representative subjects operating under elevated stress conditions resulting in a

statistical prediction of reliability.

Two approaches to establishing a reliability level is to evaluate either the probability of

survival or the probability of failure. Either method is equally effective, but the most

common method is to calculate the probability of failure or Rate of Failure (). The

values most commonly used when calculating the level of reliability are FIT (Failures in

Time) and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) or MTBF (Mean Time between Failures)

depending on type of component or system being evaluated.

failures or rejects by the cumulative time of operation. In the HTOL model, the

cumulative time of operation is referred to as Equivalent Device Hours (EDH):

EDH = D H A f

where:

H = Test Hours per Device

Af = Acceleration Factor derived from the Arrhenius equation

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MicroNoteTM 1002

The Failure Rate () per hour is shown by:

hour =

where:

r

r

=

D H A f EDH

Acceleration Factor (Af) is the test time multiplier derived from the Arrhenius

equation. This equation calculates the time acceleration value that results from

operating a device at an elevated temperature. The test type used to achieve

this is generally referred to as High Temperature Operating Life (HTOL) or Burnin. More specific terms for these tests depend on the type of technology under

test. Tests such as High Temperature Reverse Bias (HTRB), DC Burn-in and

Alternating Current Operating Life (ACOL) are technology specific tests within the

HTOL category. The Acceleration Factor (Af) is shown by:

Af = e

where:

Ea

1

k Tuse

Ttest

k (Boltzmann's Constant) = 8.617 x 10-5 eV/K

Tuse = Use Temperature (standardized at 55C or 328K)

Ttest = Test Temperature (HTOL temperature in K)

K (degrees Kelvin) = 273 + C

eV = electron volts

Activation energy (Ea) is an empirical value that is the minimum energy required

to initiate a specific type of failure mode that can occur within a technology type.

Oxide defects, bulk silicon defects, mask defects, electro-migration and

contamination are some examples of such failure modes, each with an unique

associated Ea. In lieu of using empirical data for each individual failure mode, it

is generally accepted that a standard single value of Ea = 0.7 eV provides a

reasonably accurate average Ea value for diode type semiconductors.

To derive a more statistically accurate calculation for Failure Rate (), the

number of rejects (r) is replaced with the probability function using Chi-squared

(X2).

r~

where:

2 ( , )

2

failures or rejects.

percent area under the X2 probability distribution curve; reliability

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Copyright Microsemi Corp.

MicroNoteTM 1002

calculations use = 0.6 (or 60%). Note: The total area under the

X2 curve is always 1, so 1 (or 100%).

curve; reliability calculations use = 2r + 2 where r = number of

failures or rejects.

The equation for Failure Rate () per hour then becomes:

hour =

2 ( , )

2 ( , )

=

2 D H Af 2 EDH

FIT (Failures in Time) is a standard industry value defined as the Failure Rate

() per billion hours.

provides the average time to failure of Non-repairable Items such as light bulbs

and diodes or unserviceable systems such as satellites or other unmanned

space craft. For items with long life expectancies, it is often a more useful to

report MTTF in years rather than hours.

MTTFhours = 1

hours

or

MTTFyears = 1

(hours 24 365)

such as compressors and aircraft. MTBF uses MTTF as one factor and Mean

Time to Repair (MTTR) as the other to capture the complete break-down and

repair cycle. The primary purpose of MTBF is to identify appropriate preventive

maintenance schedules to avoid, perhaps indefinitely, catastrophic failures due to

predictable piece part wear-out. As a rule of thumb, component reliability centers

around MTTF since most components cannot be repaired. MTBF is shown by:

where:

Over the years, there have been several methods used to derive the value for X2 (Chisquared); everything from the use of probability tables to the application of

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MicroNote 1002; Rev 0; 1/9/2012

Copyright Microsemi Corp.

MicroNoteTM 1002

approximation equations. More detail on this subject is discussed in Calculating Chisquared (X2) for Reliability Equations by this author. The following is an excerpt.

In MS Excel 2003 and later versions, the CHIINV function calculates X2 from the input

data probability and deg_freedom rendering accurate values throughout the entire use

range up to 4-decimal places. This method is currently used as a standard in the

statistics community for calculating values for the X2 distribution. In Excel, the formula is

expressed as:

=CHIINV(probability,deg_freedom)

In determining (nu), degrees of freedom or deg_freedom, we use the equation

described previously where r = number of failures or rejects:

= 2(r + 1) = 2r + 2

Since reliability calculations require the left portion of area under the X2 distribution curve

and CHIINV happens to calculate the right side, we must use the equation below to

determine the correct value for probability:

CHIINV ( probability ) = 1

when using decimal values for , or

CHIINV ( probability ) = 1

100

Example: for = .60 or 60%, CHIINV(probability) = .40 or 40% respectively.

simplifies the calculation activity.

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MicroNote 1002; Rev 0; 1/9/2012

Copyright Microsemi Corp.

MicroNoteTM 1002

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MicroNote 1002; Rev 0; 1/9/2012

Copyright Microsemi Corp.

MicroNoteTM 1002

Reference Material

1. Patrick D. T. OConnor, Practical Reliability Engineering, 4th ed., John Wiley &

Sons, UK, (2010)

2. Charles E. Ebeling, An Introduction to Reliability and Maintainability Engineering,

2nd ed., Waveland Press, USA (2010)

3. Wayne B. Nelson, Accelerated Testing-Statistical Models, Test Plans & Data

Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, USA (2004)

4. Dimitri Kececioglu & Feng-Bin Sun, Burn-In Testing-Its Quantification &

Optimization, DEStech Publications, USA (2003)

5. Samuel M. Selby, Ph.D. Sc.D., Standard Mathematical Tables, 12th ed., The

Chemical Rubber Co. (CRC), Cleveland, Ohio, USA (1972)

6. Mary Gibbons Natrella, Experimental Statistics, National Bureau of Standards

Handbook 91, United States Department of Commerce, Washington D.C., USA

(1963)

7. Thomas Pyzdek, The Six Sigma Handbook, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA (2003)

8. Ray DiBugnara, Model for Calculating Part Reliability from Life Test Data,

Microsemi Corporation (2009)

9. Paul Ellerman, Calculating Chi-squared (X2) for Reliability Equations, MicroNote

1003, Microsemi Corporation (2012)

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MicroNote 1002; Rev 0; 1/9/2012

Copyright Microsemi Corp.

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