The electronics industry traditionally addresses the issue of life-cycle prediction of electronic devices as a constant failure rate problem by assuming that a burn-in period has been completed and that wear-out will not occur within the designed service life of the device. Although some electrical characteristics of electronic devices may exhibit early and random failures, the majority of failures in electronic packages are due to mechanical failure mechanisms such as fracture, fatigue, and corrosion. These failures are primarily wear-out phenomena rather than statistically random phenomena and hence cannot be characterized as a constant failure-rate process during any significant segment of the life of the device.

This article provides an overview of the state-of-the-art in generating analytical models for fatigue life estimation due to mechanical wear-out, and to critically examine the applicability of these models in the reliability prediction of electronic packages.

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