DfR Solutions

DfR Solutions has world-renowned expertise in applying the science of Reliability Physics to electrical and electronics technologies, and is a leading provider of quality, reliability, and durability (QRD) research and consulting for the electronics industry.

Service Provider

DfR Solutions specializes in providing knowledge- and science-based solutions to maximize and accelerate the product integrity assurance activities of their clients in every marketplace for electronic technologies (consumer, industrial, automotive, medical, military, telecom, oil drilling, and throughout the electronic component and material supply chain). The company’s integrated use of Physics of Failure (PoF) and Best Practices provides crucial insights and solutions early in product design and development and throughout the product life cycle.

In today’s competitive marketplace, you can’t afford to deliver an unreliable product. Working with you throughout the life cycle of the product, DfR Solutions can lend a guiding hand regarding quality, reliability, and durability (QRD) issues. DfR not only helps you solve your problems — we can prevent them from happening in the first place! Services we offer include Technology ion, Design Reviews, Supply Chain Assessment, Testing/Product Qualification, Field/Customer Returns, and more.

DfR Solutions Postings
1 product »
Sherlock - Automated Design Analysis software

Wouldn't it be nice to see into the future? With Sherlock by DfR Solutions, you can. Sherlock is a new Automated Design Analysis Tool that allows you to predict product failure earlier in the design process, allowing you to design ...


Sherlock - Automated Design Analysis software
17 technical articles »
How Mitigation Techniques Affect Reliability Results for BGAs

Nov 17, 2016 | Greg Caswell, Melissa Keener

Since 2006 RoHS requirements have required lead free solders to take the place of tin-lead solders in electronics. The problem is that in some environments the lead free solders are less reliable than the older tin-lead solders. One of the ways to solve this problem is to corner stake, edge bond or underfill the components. When considering what mitigation technique and material to use, the operating conditions must be characterized. The temperature range is important when selecting a material to use since the glass transition temperature (Tg) and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) are important properties. If improperly chosen, the mitigation material can cause more failures than an unmitigated component....

Predicting Fatigue of Solder Joints Subjected to High Number of Power Cycles

Jul 09, 2015 | Craig Hillman, Nathan Blattau, Matt Lacy

Solder joint reliability of SMT components connected to printed circuit boards is well documented. However, much of the testing and data is related to high-strain energy thermal cycling experiments relevant to product qualification testing (i.e., -55C to 125C). Relatively little information is available on low-strain, high-cycle fatigue behavior of solder joints, even though this is increasingly common in a number of applications due to energy savings sleep mode, high variation in bandwidth usage and computational requirements, and normal operational profiles in a number of power supply applications.

In this paper, 2512 chip resistors were subjected to a high (>50,000) number of short duration (<10 min) power cycles. Environmental conditions and relevant material properties were documented and the information was inputted into a number of published solder joint fatigue models. The requirements of each model, its approach (crack growth or damage accumulation) and its relevance to high cycle fatigue are discussed....

The Effect of Coating and Potting on the Reliability of QFN Devices.

Aug 28, 2014 | Greg Caswell, Cheryl Tulkoff.

The fastest growing package types in the electronics industry today are Bottom Termination Components (BTCs). While the advantages of BTCs are well documented, they pose significant reliability challenges to users. One of the most common drivers for reliability failures is the inappropriate adoption of new technologies. This is especially true for new component packaging like BTCs. Obtaining relevant information can be difficult since information is often segmented and the focus is on design opportunities not on reliability risks (...)

Commonly used conformal coating and potting processes have resulted in shortened fatigue life under thermal cycling conditions. Why do conformal coating and potting reduce fatigue life? This paper details work undertaken to understand the mechanisms underlying this reduction. Verification and determination of mechanical properties of some common materials are performed and highlighted. Recommendations for material selection and housing design are also given....

Gold Embrittlement In Lead-Free Solder.

Aug 07, 2014 | Craig Hillman, Nathan Blattau, Joelle Arnold, Thomas Johnston, Stephanie Gulbrandsen; DfR Solutions, Julie Silk, Alex Chiu; Agilent Technologies.

Gold embrittlement in SnPb solder is a well-known failure mechanism in electronic assembly. To avoid this issue, prior studies have indicated a maximum gold content of three weight percent. This study attempts to provide similar guidance for Pb-free (SAC305) solder. Standard surface mount devices were assembled with SnPb and SAC305 solder onto printed boards with various thicknesses of gold plating. The gold plating included electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) and electrolytic gold of 15, 25, 35, and 50 microinches over nickel. These gold thicknesses resulted in weight percentages between 0.4 to 7.0 weight percent....

Copper Wire Bond Failure Mechanisms.

Jul 24, 2014 | Randy Schueller, Ph.D.

Wire bonding a die to a package has traditionally been performed using either aluminum or gold wire. Gold wire provides the ability to use a ball and stitch process. This technique provides more control over loop height and bond placement. The drawback has been the increasing cost of the gold wire. Lower cost Al wire has been used for wedge-wedge bonds but these are not as versatile for complex package assembly. The use of copper wire for ball-stitch bonding has been proposed and recently implemented in high volume to solve the cost issues with gold. As one would expect, bonding with copper is not as forgiving as with gold mainly due to oxide growth and hardness differences.

This paper will examine the common failure mechanisms that one might experience when implementing this new technology....

Using Physics of Failure to Predict System Level Reliability for Avionic Electronics

Dec 11, 2013 | Greg Caswell, Sr. Member of the Technical Staff, DfR Solutions

Today's analyses of electronics reliability at the system level typically use a "black box approach", with relatively poor understanding of the behaviors and performances of such "black boxes" and how they physically and electrically interact (...) The incorporation of more rigorous and more informative approaches and techniques needs to better understand (...) Understanding the Physics of Failure (PoF) is imperative. It is a formalized and structured approach to Failure Analysis/Forensics Engineering that focuses on total learning and not only fixing a particular current problem (...) In this paper we will present an explanation of various physical models that could be deployed through this method, namely, wire bond failures; thermo-mechanical fatigue; and vibration....

Conformal Coating Why, What, When, and How

Jan 05, 2012 | Greg Caswell

Conformal coating is applied to circuit cards to provide a dielectric layer on an electronic board. This layer functions as a membrane between the board and the environment. With this coating in place, the circuit card can withstand more moisture by incre...

Manufacturability & Reliability Challenges with Leadless Near Chip Scale (LNCSP) Packages in Pb-Free Processes

Oct 27, 2011 | Cheryl Tulkoff, Greg Caswell

Leadless, near chip scale packages (LNCSP) like the quad flat pack no lead (QFN) are the fastest growing package types in the electronics industry today. Early LNCSPs were fairly straightforward components with small overall dimensions, a single outer row...

Alternative Pb-Free Alloys

Aug 25, 2011 | Dr. Randy Schueller

While SnAgCu (SAC) alloys still dominate Pb-free selection in North America, especially Sn3.0Ag0.5Cu (SAC305), there are alternative material systems available. Any OEM that is concerned about the high reflow temperatures of SAC or relies on ODM, it is im...

Accurate Quantitative Physics-of-Failure Approach to Integrated Circuit Reliability

Jun 02, 2011 | Edward Wyrwas, Lloyd Condra, Avshalom Hava

Modern electronics typically consist of microprocessors and other complex integrated circuits (ICs) such as FPGAs, ADCs, and memory. They are susceptible to electrical, mechanical and thermal modes of failure like other components on a printed circuit boa...

7 more technical article(s) from DfR Solutions »

1 news release »
DfR Solutions and ISD Italia Partner on Sherlock ADA™ Software

Dec 21, 2011 | ISD Italia has joined forces with DfR Solutions’ North American (NA) sales teams in offering DfR Solutions’ revolutionary automated design analysis tool, ‘Sherlock’. DfR Solutions’ partnership with ISD will strengthen and expand Sherlock’s penetration among European users of EDA/CAD/CAM solutions.

Sherlock is a new Automated Design Analysis Tool that allows you to predict product failure earlier in the design process, allowing you to design reliability right into the product.

Contact information

DfR Solutions

5110 Roanoke Place Suite 101
College Park, Maryland, 20740

  • Phone 301 474-0607
  • Fax 240 757-0083

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