Altera Failure Analysis Service

Altera offers a failure analysis service to perform detailed analysis on suspected failing devices. The main goal of Altera's failure analysis service is to resolve problems quickly since timely failure analysis is critical to meet the time-to-market needs of today.

Altera's failure analysis service examines devices and helps customers troubleshoot their device-related issues. Customers can use Altera® devices in their systems more easily when issues can be resolved quickly and they don't have to send devices to Altera for analysis. For more difficult issues that cannot be resolved by customers, the Altera failure analysis team analyzes the device to determine the cause of the failure, informs the customer of their findings, and suggests ways to prevent the failure from recurring in the future.

Using Altera's Failure Analysis Services

To use Altera's failure analysis services, customers should open a Service Request via mySupport to contact an Application Engineer (AE). Customers can also contact their local Altera sales office.

If the AE cannot resolve the issue immediately and decides that the issue needs device analysis, he or she will issue an Engineering Return Material Authorization (ERMA) and send the customer a Failure Analysis Kit. The Failure Analysis Kit contains everything a customer needs to send devices to Altera.

Failure Analysis Kit

Customers can use the Failure Analysis Kit to quickly and safely return devices to Altera for analysis. The kit contains the following items:

  • Pre-­addressed, pre­paid UPS (United Parcel Service) package to send devices to Altera
  • Appropriate packing material to protect the device during shipment
  • Instructions to send devices to Altera
  • Customer letter

Failure Analysis Results

The initial analysis is typically performed within three working days of receiving devices at Altera. The initial report typically contains physical examination results. Other non-destructive inspection techniques also may be used. The report is attached to the customer’s open Service Request. For devices in BGA type packages, rework of solder balls is typically necessary prior to electrical testing of the device.

If further testing is required (e.g., electrical testing), Altera will generate a final report once testing is completed, typically 3 working days after the initial report is completed. The final reports are attached to the customer’s open Service Request. If the customer has any questions or concerns about the report, he or she should update their open Service Request or open a new Service Request if the previous one is closed.

On some occasions, testing and failure analysis may be more complex, thus requiring more time to determine a root cause. On these occasions, an intermediate report with a status update will be generated and attached to the customer’s open Service Request.

More than half of all devices sent to Altera for failure analysis are good devices. Customers who send devices to Altera without first fully checking the set-up pattern can delay issue resolution.

Altera's failure analysis service is part of the company's commitment to quality and customer service. Questions and comments regarding Altera's failure analysis services should be directed to the customer's local sales office or mySupport.

The following issues inhibit our ability to assist you:

  • The device has gross or mechanical damage, such as shorts or opens. Altera tests all devices for shorts and opens before the devices leave our factory. Shorts and opens are generally caused by mishandling on the customers end. These types of failures are normally caused by an electrical overstress event (EOS) or electro-static discharge (ESD).
  • The device was not purchased through an Altera authorized distributor.
  • The device is not covered by an Altera warranty (e.g., devices that have been altered by the customer).