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The gate oxide of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) transistors is critical. Penalties for poor-quality oxides can be severe, impacting test escape, burn-in, and field failure costs. Twenty years ago, oxide thicknesses were about 750 \AA. Now they are 40 \AA, and reductions continue. Gate oxide electric-field intensity is presently higher than burn-in electric-field intensities of 10 years ago. This article discusses the major gate oxide failure modes, reliability modeling, burn-in, and qualification testing. We present a typical method to calculate failure rates.

J. Soden, C. F. Hawkins, J. Segura and T. Dellin, "Test and Reliability: Partners in IC Manufacturing, Part 2," in IEEE Design & Test of Computers, vol. 16, no. , pp. 66-73, 1999.
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