Burn-in testing is a technique that assists in creating failure-free electronic components. It is used as an alternative to electronic switching systems (ESS) and it exercises the components of a system before they are placed altogether for operation. This form of testing provides a very reliable screening for the individual components and works efficiently and effectively. It takes advantage of several different aspects, placing a component under electrical and thermal stressors in order to indicate problems with the equipment. This provides the user to locate any defects before moving onto assembly.
The idea of using burn-in testing is to consistently put stress on the component until they fail. Each time the component rate of failure should be decreasing, which the components with the highest rate of failure to be taken out of the device. This ensures that a failure of the entire system can be avoided. Though the yield is decreased, the full system should be able to function much more reliably.
Because burn-in testing reduces the lifetime of the full product, if the failing components can be discovered before the testing, it would be preferred. The more the component is tested with burn-in, the further it pushes it to the end of its lifetime.
When an electronic component is tested using burn-in, the test must be done at a higher temperature. In some cases the voltage must be raised as well in order to assure that faults are properly detected. This testing can either be practiced on components continuously or once at the end of the burn-in period. When done on electronic components, the term heat soaking may be used in place of burn-in testing.
Burn-in testing allows for potential failures to be picked up on before the components are assembled into a fully functional system. It tests individual components repeatedly, placing temperature stresses and electrical stresses onto them until they fail. This process of testing degrades the overall lifespan of the full system, so if the fault can be detected beforehand, it is better to remove the component then. Thankfully, burn-in testing can solve problems before they occur in the semiconductor.