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Ensure Reliability in Edge Computing with Burn-In Testing

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Edge computing is a computing model that places critical processing tasks within the framework or environment where data is generated. It's a framework that supports the generation, storage, and processing of data in the location where it is created without resorting to a data center or central data computing environment.

The factors that influence future Edge deployments — growing 5G networks, artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, internet of things (IoT), and mobile streaming — are also increasing the importance of Edge computing for so many of us. Accessing data at the source of information, at the hyper-local level, is the key to edge and edge computing.

Benefits of edge computing:

  • Boosts performance
  • Enhances privacy protections and data security
  • Reduces operational costs
  • Helps in meeting regulatory and compliance requirements
  • Enhances reliability and resiliency
  • Supports AI/ML applications

Under this computing framework, there is no need for data gathered from endpoints to make it back to centralized data services to be processed and analyzed. Instead, data is processed immediately within the same environment where it is born.

Reliability: Designing for Real-Life Durability

Latency is often considered the primary driver of edge computing movement. However, other factors beyond speed, are pushing this architectural paradigm shift. Reliability is essential to accelerating edge computing functionality, innovation, and adoption.

Before optimizing for speed, application architects face the challenge of designing systems that enable workloads to perform their intended functions accurately and consistently when expected. Reliability is a cornerstone of application design and one of the primary considerations leading developers to the edge.

Each year, media sources cover all the major cloud outages that took place over the year, e.g. The 10 Biggest Cloud Outages Of 2022 (So Far). In many of these instances, core services were impacted, often going offline for an extended period of time and taking down many valuable applications in their wake.

When all operations are concentrated in a centralized system, all it takes is one point of failure to disrupt or bring down the entire system. With more, larger computing systems operating in a centralized area, failure-causing factors, such as heat, are increased.

Designing fault-tolerant, resilient systems is no small feat. Designers must know that the specified components will perform as promised in a finished product. Components' reliability is assured through various testing protocols based on the type of component, the kind of system in which the component will be used, the product or system operating environment, and adherence to country- and industry-specific regulations, among other factors.

Burn-in Testing

Burn-in is a testing process designed to detect early failures in components and reduce the potential for defects and failures in the field. During burn-in, computing components endure extreme operating conditions, including temperature extremes, high use cycles, and high voltages. The object is to eliminate defective parts or those with short lifespans before they can become a factor in a computing system failure.

The objective is to survive extreme temperatures and environmental stresses to ensure it remains durable and dependable under various circumstances to prevent a costly or deadly downtime error.

High Temperature Operating Life Tests 

High temperature operating life tests (HTOL) provides an operational survivability test of computer chips and board assemblies before leaving the manufacturing factory. Using high-temperature, stressful conditions to test the chips that ultimately make it into your electronics prove the components will survive these extreme conditions before the electronics kits reach the assembly.

Highly Accelerated Stress Tests

When performing highly accelerated stress tests (HAST), the ultimate goal is to push the object in question until it fails to determine the limits of its lifespan and abilities. HAST conditions force the natural curve between production flaws and end-of-life mortality in semiconductor devices.

Why is all this important?

The technology of yesterday has a shelf life. As the global population depends more and more on the interconnectivity of data and applications, testing models need to keep up to ensure fast and reliable experiences for end users. Staying ahead of the curve requires innovation and confidence in each and every part used. Reliability testing is not an expense, but an investment to ensure components can thrive under extreme conditions.

Burn-in is a recognized important test step in the production test flow. It will become increasingly crucial as edge computing revolutionizes medicine, autonomous robots, and our daily lives through data science. As part of this process, advanced automated factory systems continuously monitor the quality and reliability metrics.

Performing burn-in accelerates a component’s lifespan beyond the point of premature failures to weed out defective parts. Components that have passed the burn-in test are highly likely to provide reliable service for the duration of a product’s life.


Edge Computers Must Meet Performance Requirements

As the number of IoT (internet of things) and IIoT (industrial IoT) devices continues to increase, so does the volume and velocity of data that is being generated by them. Edge computing hardware is an obvious solution to alleviating the burdens placed on the cloud and data centers. But as edge computing brings processing data closer to where it's created, higher power is needed, higher temperatures are generated, and the massive arrays present mechanical, thermal, and electrical design challenges for designers. 

Edge computing hardware must be rugged, compact, have sufficient storage, have rich connectivity options, have a wide power range, and meet the performance requirements for the tasks they will perform.

The burn-in test is the best screening method to weed out initial high potential failures in semiconductor devices. The devices that survive the burn-in test are the high-quality pieces that are free of latent defects and can be trusted to be incorporated in the final product assembly. Plastronics has the in-house technologies and manufacturing capabilities to solve these burn-in and test challenges, preparing edge computers to push boundaries and push capabilities.

Avoid Risk In Your Product Development

The future of edge computing will come with its share of challenges. Edge solutions will require many vendors and increasing complexity. Every new network connection, smart device, edge server, or micro data center becomes an area for possible failure.

Plastronics’ sockets can be used to test at high temperatures, high power, and other factors based on the application's needs. We bring 40 years of reliability test experience to the industry to ensure constant and unfailing electrical interconnect during stress testing of computer chips.

That's why you should partner with Plastronics, the leader in reliability burn-in testing conductors. Are you ready to optimize the edge for increased performance and decreased risk?


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