New processes are qualified at RFMD through a phase-gate process designed to ensure risks are identified as early as possible. Qualification plans are crafted to stress processes well beyond their intended lifespans and into the wear-out region of the bathtub reliability curve. Results are then used to establish reliability models from which safe operating areas can be defined for product designs.
Once a process is qualified, it is released to be designed into a product and combined with many other integrated circuits, surface mount components, and package materials. The product development lifecycle also follows a phase-gate process to ensure all areas of risk are addressed. The finished product is then subjected to an intense battery of stress tests to ensure there are no negative interactions between processes.
Refer to RFMD's Product Quality Lifecycle Management Program document for additional information.