Abstract

Electrical fault isolation constitutes the first steps in characterizing and isolating the failure modes and root causes of a failing motherboard. Ideally the Failure Analysis Test tools provide complete coverage of all motherboard buses and silicon devices. Time and resource constraints for tool development prevent complete coverage, however, so the challenge is to provide the highest level of debug test coverage in the shortest development schedule. A simplified Fault Isolation process has been created based on historical failure analysis data to reduce the development time and resources to create tools which allow diagnosing failure root causes on high-end server motherboards. This strategy prioritizes the most common types of electrical failure modes and the types of Electrical Failure Analysis / Fault Isolation (EFA-FI) tools best suited to diagnose these modes. The benefits of this strategy include shorter EFA-FI development times, equivalent success rates in failure root cause, lower costs, and more effective EFA-FI tools that can be used within the Design Team and at either OEM or Contract Manufacturing sites.

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