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Question I received some field returned devices (chips that have been mounted on boards and tested fail on a drive level) that is diagnosed as ESD/EOS when analyzed in the FA lab. How high a chance that these could be due to latent failure and what are the possible symptoms? - Anonymous, Singapore
Answer There are some physical differences between EOS damage and ESD damage and further, the ESD damage can be broken down into one time catastrophic and longer term latent damage, depending on the energy of the ESD event and material worked on. A 1972 Westinghouse Advanced Technology Laboratories case study on bipolar devices showed that 80% of the rejected Op Amps failed catastrophically (EOS or high energy ESD) and the other 20% showed more subtle degradation (Latent ESD damage).
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