For high power IC chips, as device size inevitably decreases, the wire diameter unfortunately must decrease due to the need of finer pitch wires. Fusing or melting of wirebonds thus increasingly becomes one of the potential failure issues for such IC's. Experiments were performed under transient loads on dummy packages having aluminum, gold, or copper wires of different dimensions. A finite element model was constructed that correlates very well with the observed maximum operating currents for such wirebonds under actual experimental test conditions. A qualitative observation of typical current profiles, as fusing conditions were approached, was that current would reach a maximum value very early in the pulse, and then fall gradually. One goal achieved through the modeling was to show that the current in the wire falls with time due to the heating of the wire material. Correspondingly, the wire reaches the melting temperature not at the peak current but rather at the end of pulse. Further, modeling shows that knowledge of external resistance and inductance of the experimental set up are highly significant in determining the details of a fusing event, but if known along with the temperature-dependent wire properties, the simulation can predict the correct voltage and current response of the part with 2% error. On the other hand, lack of external circuit characteristics may lead to completely incorrect results. For instance, the assumption that current is constant until the wire heats to fusing temperature, or that current and temperature both rise monotonically to maximum values until the wire fuses, are almost certain to be wrong. The work has been carried out for single pulse events as well as pulse trains.

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