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News from iNEMI (International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative)

JEDEC and IPC Release Tin Whisker Acceptance Testing Standard and Mitigation Practices Guideline

May 04, 2006

JEDEC and the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) today announced the availability of two documents intended to help manufacturers reduce the risk of tin whiskers in lead-free products. The first is JEDEC standard JESD201, "Environmental Acceptance Requirements for Tin Whisker Susceptibility of Tin and Tin Alloy Surface Finishes," and the second is a JEDEC/IPC joint publication, JP002, "Current Tin Whiskers Theory and Mitigation Practices Guideline."

JESD201, developed by the JEDEC JC-14.3 Subcommittee on Silicon Device Reliability Qualification and Monitoring and the iNEMI Tin Whisker User Group, provides a uniform environmental acceptance testing and reporting methodology for tin whisker susceptibility of tin and tin alloy surface finishes used in the electronics industry. It is intended to be used with JESD22-A121, "Test Method for Measuring Whisker Growth on Tin and Tin Alloy Surface Finishes" (published May 2005, with a revision released in October 2005).

JP002 provides guidance in understanding the prevalent theories regarding tin whisker formation, the driving force behind tin whisker growth, and mitigation practices used to minimize whiskers. It serves as a source of background information for JESD22A-121and JESD201. The publication was developed by JEDEC's JC-14.1 Subcommittee on Reliability Test Methods for Packaged Devices in conjunction with the IPC 5-23e Tin Whiskers Guideline Task Group, and includes significant input from the iNEMI Tin Whisker Users Group.

"Although it is not possible to guarantee that whiskers will not grow under field conditions, the mitigation practices detailed in JP002, combined with the test and acceptance criteria outlined in JESD201, form the cornerstone of a three-fold strategy of mitigation practices, process controls and verification testing that helps to reduce the risks of tin whiskers," said Joe Smetana, principal engineer, advanced technology, for Alcatel and chair of the iNEMI Tin Whisker User Group. "This standard set of testing requirements and associated acceptance criteria are crucial to users, who want to ensure product reliability, as well as to suppliers, who can now proceed with one set of criteria to test and evaluate their finishes rather than trying to meet varying requirements from multiple customers."

"These joint documents will help the electronics industry move forward to implement reliable and compliant Pb-free products," said Bruce Euzent of Altera Corporation, chairman of the JC-14.3 Subcommittee on Silicon Device Reliability Qualification and Monitoring. "There was a tremendous amount of cooperative work throughout the worldwide electronics industry to develop these documents."

JESD201, JP002 and JESD22-A121 can be downloaded from the JEDEC website at:


iNEMI, in conjunction with IEEE, CPMT and ECTC, is sponsoring the Third Tin Whisker Workshop on May 30 as part of IEEE's Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC; The full-day workshop in San Diego, California, will provide an update on work that has been done in both the testing and modeling of tin whiskers. In addition, a roundtable discussion will provide insight into the intent of the JEDEC/IPC specifications and will also discuss implementation of the new standards. For more information about the tin whisker workshop, go to


JEDEC ( is the leading developer of standards for the solid-state industry. Almost 2700 participants, appointed by some 270 companies, work together in 50 JEDEC committees to meet the needs of every segment of the industry, manufacturers and consumers alike. The publications and standards that they generate are accepted throughout the world. All JEDEC standards are available online, at no charge.


The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative's mission is to assure leadership of the global electronics manufacturing supply chain. Based in Herndon, Va., the industry-led consortium is made up of approximately 70 manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies and universities. iNEMI roadmaps the needs of the electronics industry, identifies gaps in the technology infrastructure, establishes implementation projects to eliminate these gaps (both business and technical), and stimulates standards activities to speed the introduction of new technologies. The consortium also works with government, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives. For additional information about iNEMI tin whisker activities, visit


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