Quality in Product and Technology Development

In ST, quality is built into every step of product and technology development. Our product development process starts by identifying

  • Mission profile: Conditions of use of our products, notably conditions of stress that may occur during the product lifecycle. This includes operating temperature and frequency, number of write/erase cycles, mechanical and voltage stress and other similar parameters.
  • Industry domain requirements: The ST standard approach to fulfill the requirements of specific business domains, such as consumer, automotive, safety or medical, and standard.
  • Knowledge matrix data: The ST knowledge base of known failure modes which allows us to exercise prevention starting in the early design phase and implement the right solutions by capitalizing on expertise and past experience.

We work in cooperation with our customers and technology partners to acquire a deep understanding of critical product characteristics and use conditions. This background allows us to construct an in-depth prevention plan, which includes a similarity analysis and a full review of the technology, package and IP capabilities.

Design controls, tests and approvals are completed at each stage of product development to ensure the robustness and reliability of the product. Products are qualified after validation of final production and product configuration. The industrialization phase is dedicated to optimizing yield, test time and efficiency with improvements made during volume production.

Reliability evaluations are performed to assess product and process failure modes at each step of the product development cycle and determine their potential impact on product reliability. Product reliability is checked using accelerated stress tests that reproduce field stress conditions that will occur during the product lifetime, taking into account the assembly environment and the customer mission profile. Reliability tests are based on internal and industry-wide knowledge of failure mechanisms aiming to ensure that no failure will occur during the lifetime of a product.

If new failure mechanisms are identified during these tests, they are analyzed to determine the root cause and corrective actions are taken to remove any potential reliability issues.

A robust test solution, including the test program, system and configuration, is a critical component of the product development flow. It is aligned to the customer test system with exact coverage of functional patterns and tailored to detect potential risks introduced by the product or application design.

We develop advanced design platforms and production technologies for silicon and packaging, integrating quality and reliability features to guarantee safe and robust industrialization. The normal path to develop a front end or back end technology or package is similar to that used for product development. This path normally takes place prior to product development but can also be concurrent to product development.
We use Early Life Failure Rate (ELFR) in front end and Real Time Control (RTC) in back end to monitor products and continuously control process reliability during production. Each suspected failure is analyzed and if confirmed, a corrective action plan is implemented. Our knowledge base is refreshed accordingly for new risk items, coming also from customer manufacturing and the field.