Ruggedizing COTS Components for Hi-Rel Applications

Sept. 28, 2023
A Military & Aerospace-hosted webinar sponsored by Micross

Originally broadcast on September 28, 2023. Now available On Demand.

Already registered? Click here to log in.


Prior to the 21st century, only hermetically packaged ceramic IC components were considered for high-reliability safety-critical Space, Aerospace, and Defense applications, the axiom or accepted truth for electronics specified for these extreme performance and environmental requirements. This design rule ensured the desired component reliability, albeit at a dramatic cost premium to commercial grade electronics.

As defense (new wars in Iraq & Afghanistan) and space programs (more countries with satellite and space programs, new satellites for communications, defense surveillance, weather, GPS, climate, as well as new systems including rovers, launch vehicles, and new commercial space manufacturers) accelerated at the beginning of the 21st century, OEMs and Primes adopted an alternative approach to minimize program development costs, while enabling the utilization of the latest chip designs and technology available, by using Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) components in space. Primes and OEMs now design standard COTS components into these safety-critical high-reliability applications and have been deploying them with success. However, the development cost savings realized with using standard COTS in these hi-rel applications, instead of Hermetics/Ceramics is quickly superseded by the high replacement costs (re-launch and system replacement) resulting from shorter program longevity.

In one example, an OEM of low earth orbit (LEO) cube satellites, located in North America, specified standard lead-free (RoHS) off-the-shelf components for a new constellation, providing the desired dramatically lower component unit costs compared with the traditional hermetically sealed ceramic components, at the total program life cost of only surviving an expected mission life of 2-3 years. With the extreme solar thermal cycling imposed on satellites during their 15 orbits per day (5,500/year), non-ruggedized electronics degrade quickly. In this case, in addition to the shorter than desired expected mission life, the deployment experienced a significant number of premature flight failures.

There is a better alternative. To optimize the cost / system-life benefit ratio, an approach that is able to deliver both lower material costs and dramatically longer system life, would be ideal. In this webinar, experts in component high-reliability modification from the US and UK, will present all of the techniques designers have been widely adopting to extend their mission’s life by more than 3X, to 6-10 years, through the use of component modification ruggedization processing applied to standard nominally-priced COTS components.

Extending mission life by 3X or more, while maintaining nominal material costs… definitely worth tuning in!

We look forward to having you join us on September 28th at 11am ET.

Sponsored by:


Mark Walmsley | Product Line Manager, Component Modification Services | Micross Components

Mark is an expert in hi-rel microelectronics packaging, assembly, and modification services with a career spanning 46 years, including roles in both component distribution at a leading broadline distributor, and assembly techniques from his time working in contract manufacturing. Mark possesses extensive experience with engineering solutions for the high-reliability electronics community globally. Mark is a Product Line Manager at Micross Components facility in Crewe, UK, where he is responsible for the Component Modification Services product line, and the development and definition of CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) mismatch mitigation services, for component use in harsh environments.


Arnold Markowitz | Business Development Manager, Component Modification Services | Micross Components

Arnie is an expert in hi-rel microelectronics packaging, assembly, and modification services, with over 40 years of field sales and corporate management experience in the semiconductor industry. Since 2011 Arnie has served as Product Line Manager at Micross Components Center of Excellence for Component Modification Services, in Manchester, NH (formerly Corfin Industries prior to 2020 Micross acquisition). Prior to Corfin and Micross, Arnie was VP / GM of API Electronics’ Component Division for 11 years.