High Reliability Electronic Components

The number of options that can be specified for high reliability electronic components can feel overwhelming at first glance.
This is especially true when some degree of overlapping or mirroring is evident from one product / part qualification to another.
With a further ability to specify additional screening and testing it becomes a complex task to ensure the right quality level is purchased.  The intended application and attitude to risk based on potential failure is a good starting point to determine the reliability of the components to be used throughout the system.
The DMTL team believe a specialist distributor is the best supply partner for High Reliability Electronic Components.  Overall reliability is a vital need in military systems, it forms a basis to reduce costs and also to ensure equipment is ready and operational in the field.
Applications for the use of High Reliability Components include anything from static ground applications – e.g. test equipment, support equipment, etc through to flight in Deep Space.  For the purpose of this article we will categorise a High Reliability Electronic Component as above Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) & Industrial Grade i.e. a standard catalogue component which is intended for general usage.
Commercial Grade
A commercial grade electronic component is manufactured to datasheet specifications only.  A large amount of flexibility surrounds the design, materials, processes and testing.  The electronic component manufacturer is therefore without restriction and is able to change the fundamentals of the electronic component, to suit internal / external commercial and technical objectives.
Qualification or testing requirements tend not to be mandatory, components are designed and manufactured for the best performance, cost or a ratio of both.
Automotive Grade
AEC-Q200 is a Stress Test Qualification for Passive Components, it has been defined by the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC).
For a manufacturer to state their passive Electronic Component is AEC-Q200 qualified, the product must be tested and the results logged, as outlined in the qualification document.  These tests are performed at different temperatures and dependent on the ability of the passive component to pass or fail at a particular temperature will result in a grading between Grade 0 -> Grade 4.  These grades correspond with different automotive applications from Non-Automotive to All Automotive.
Unless changes are made to either the product or process no further testing is required to supply AEC-Q200 qualified passive Electronic Components.
Source – AEC-Q200 REV D Stress Test Qualification for Passive Components
The product is designed and manufactured to commercial standards, the production batch is then up-screened typically with testing in “accordance” to a particular MIL-PRF...