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What is a Burn-in Board?

If you are new to the PCB industry, you may come across the term “Burn-in Board” and may be wondering what it is. This blog post is dedicated to answering that exact question.

So what exactly is a burn-in board?

A burn-in board is a PCB that functions as a jig in the burn-in process. The is used as part of the ASIC reliability testing process during which components are stressed with heat to detect failures. Burn-in boards consist of sockets to accommodate the tested ASICs and are designed to withstand high temperatures during tests.

The Test

The burn-in process is conducted to check the reliability of the ASIC device and are usually done at 125ºC, while electrical signals and power are applied to ASICs. Boards are inserted into the burn-in oven which supplies the voltages to the samples while maintaining the oven temperature at 125ºC. After the stress testing, the samples are then screened to ensure they passed the oven testing.

Board Materials

Burn-in boards are made of high-grade materials. To withstand the oven testing reaching 125ºC, a special version of FR4 is used (High Tg FR4). For temperatures reaching up to 250C, a polyimide is used and for higher temperatures of 300C, a higher grade of polyimide is used.

Burn-in Board Design

The burn-in board design is similar to your typical PCB design guidelines, however, there are some additional factors. One of the most important aspects to consider is selecting the highest possible reliability and quality for the burn-in board and test socket. The last thing you need is it failing before the device under a test. All active/passive components and connectors should comply with high-temperature requirements, and all materials and components should meet high-temperature and aging requirements.

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