We present a new methodology for predicting the fatigue life of solder joints for electronics applications. This approach involves the integration of experimental and computational techniques. The first stage involves correlating the manufacturing and processing parameters with the starting microstructure of the solder joint. The second stage involves a series of experiments that characterize the evolution of the microstructure during thermal cycling. The third stage consists of a computer modeling and simulation effort that utilizes the starting microstructure and experimental data to produce a reliability prediction of the solder joint. This approach is an improvement over current methodologies because it incorporates the micro-structure and properties of the solder directly into the model and allows these properties to evolve as the microstructure changes during fatigue.

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