In order to reach Zero Defect target, Quality must be developed through the whole Product Qualification Flow. The Product Qualification is only the formal end in a series of steps leading to high volume production release. The final step of Product Qualification is applied to finished parts (mass production tools and mass production locations): only successful qualification results allow the delivery of the product to ST customers, for the use in their own manufacturing lines. Three main steps are:
The Technology Qualification is the first milestone having effects on the final product quality. The Technology is submitted to a specific qualification procedure, to assure that all the elementary electrical components are suitable for the performances that are required inside the Integrated Circuit.
The Design Validation is the second phase having effects on the final product quality. In this phase the most modern Computer aided methods are applied to achieve the result of a product really working inside an operation range compatible with the technology, and optimizing the design related features. The most recent methodologies are applied in this phase to ensure the best Testability, Manufacturability and Reliability of the product.
The Robustness Validation is the new approach introduced into Product Qualification that is the final phase to assure that the qualified technology and the qualified design really satisfy the reliability requirements, according to the product Mission Profile, that is part of the ST customer's know-how, essential in the building-up of an effective partnership.