The drive to use COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) components in the space industry is growing since these parts allow to obtain higher performance at the system level, which is difficult to obtain using currently available space components. However, the use of COTS components has an inherent risk because of the lack of confidence in the traceability and the long-term performance of these parts as well as the new concerns affecting mostly this type of products (RoHS, counterfeit parts, long-term reliability, etc.).
The surface mount device beads under study have two rectangular contacts at opposite sides. With bends of 90 degrees that have an approximately planar surface of 3.048 mm2 each. In order to comply with the standard JESD22-A121, 12 leads on at least 6 components must be examined, with an accumulated lead surface bigger than 75 mm2.
The space community has long resisted the use of COTS due to inherent risks and uncertainties in the process, including lot traceability, validity of radiation test results, test program correlation, and lack of manufacturer warranty and support.
An important starting point must be stressed that NONE OF THE “AS RECEIVED” SMD DEVICES POSSESSED WHISKERS. It was confirmed by performing a visual inspection. This was repeated by the company, with the help of the SEM, on the three lots of devices after each of the four runs for conditions of Temperature Cycling, and the Ambient- and High-Temperature/Humidity Storage.