SMTA International Conference Proceedings

Intermittent Connector Failures In Electronic Assemblies

Authors: Aravind Munukutla and Anil Kurella
Company: Intel Corporation
Date Published: 10/16/2011   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Connectors are an integral part of any electronic assembly. As a result their reliability is a critical aspect for proper functioning of electronic systems, be it a mobile phone or a high end telecom server. There are a number of papers published on electrical connector failures that focus primarily on contact interface plating issues. From our failure analysis experiences we have identified numerous factors beyond materials or plating issues that can contribute to intermittent failures. Using complex electrical analytical techniques the failures were isolated to specific signals which were then subjected to in depth material analysis. Although in most cases the predominant failure mechanism is contact area corrosion the root causes have ranged from incoming raw material issues to mother board assembly process issues to end customer usage environments. This paper discusses findings from such case studies. It also discusses the corrective actions that were put in place for many of these cases.

Key Words: 

Connectors, memory failures, contact area, electrical contacts.

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