Burn-in test equipment uses elevated voltages, temperatures and power cycling to evaluate high power chips, boards or products. The burn-in process tests the quality of the semiconductor device before it is incorporated into a finished device, ensuring that an IC chip with a latent defect is weeded out. Burn-in test equipment accelerates any potential failures in substandard products, known in the semiconductor industry as the "infant mortality" of a device. Devices that survive a burn-in period are usually free of early failures and other operational problems.
Burn-in test equipment is used by semiconductor manufacturers to test the quality of an integrated circuit (IC), printed circuit board (PCB), application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), and other microprocessors. Burn-in test equipment may also be known as life testing equipment, and may use specific machines to test memory modules, logic modules, linear components such as voltage regulators, mixed signal components such as analog switches and multiplexers, and discrete components such as diodes and transistors.
Burn-in testing is also used to test prototypes and predict the aging of components. Companies that conduct burn-in testing typically configure the burn-in testing equipment to perform at a particular temperature or temperature range, depending on the customer’s specifications. Burn-in test equipment includes ovens that typically operate between -55 degrees and 150 degrees C.
Burn-in test equipment is also used with test sockets, carriers, clips, and connectors that are used in printed circuit boards and integrated chips. A test socket or contactor device is secured to the burn-in circuit board using stainless steel mounting screws for easy attachment and removal. The socket consists of alignment pins and solder-less, pressure-mounted spring probe contacts made of heat treated beryllium copper alloy with either gold or nickel plating. The socket can be used for burn-in applications on DRAM, SRAM, and flash memory devices.