Aehr Test Systems announced it has received an initial customer order for a FOX-NP™ wafer level test and burn-in system and a FOX WaferPak™ Aligner to be used for gallium nitride (GaN) power devices. The customer is a leading global supplier of semiconductor devices used in electric vehicles and power infrastructure and adds another major customer to the list of companies using Aehr’s FOX products for wafer level test and burn-in of wide bandgap compound semiconductors. The FOX-NP system, including the FOX WaferPak Aligner, is scheduled to ship and be installed in the current fiscal quarter.
As Aehr’s first gallium nitride customer to order a system, this company selected Aehr due in part to its unique ability to offer a total solution that allows customers to apply thermal and electrical stress conditions to thousands of devices while still in wafer form. Aehr’s cutting-edge technology provides critical geolocation information across the wafer while inducing the extrinsic (early life) failures that would otherwise fail in the field without reducing the long-term reliability or life of the good devices.
Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented, “After seeing the positive results from their long and extensive evaluation of our FOX wafer level test systems for their silicon carbide devices, this customer decided to first move forward with our FOX-NP system to test their gallium nitride devices’ long-term reliability failure rates, as well as qualify the production extrinsic failure screening process for their devices in applications where safety, reliability, and/or security are critical.
A key consideration behind their decision is that the FOX-NP system is 100% compatible with the Aehr FOX-XP system that is targeted for high volume production and can support all the test modes needed for both gallium nitride and silicon carbide device testing and burn-in, including high-voltage testing of up to 2,000 volts with full wafer test without electrical arcing that can damage the wafer, which is a distinct advantage of our unique patented technology.
“Similar to silicon carbide, gallium nitride semiconductor MOSFETs are considered wide bandgap devices with much higher efficiencies in terms of power conversion than silicon, with gallium nitride being particularly good for lower power devices such as under 1000 watt power converters used in consumer devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers, as well as being targeted for automotive power converters for all the electrical systems in automobiles, whether electric vehicles or traditional gasoline automobiles. Gallium nitride MOSFETs are also believed by many industry analysts and technical communities to likely take over silicon as the power converter of choice for photovoltaic (solar panel) applications.
“Gallium nitride and silicon carbide devices both have excellent long-term intrinsic reliability, making them very good for automotive and industrial applications. But both also experience higher than acceptable early life or extrinsic failures related to the material and processing steps. Gallium nitride and silicon carbide semiconductor suppliers can add a special stress or screening test known as burn-in on 100% of the devices to identify and remove these early life failures so that they can meet the end customers’ target reliability needs. This 100% burn-in requirement is not unique to these devices, as it is also the case with microprocessors and microcontrollers, dynamic random-access memories (DRAM), flash non-volatile memories, as well as many sensors used in automotive and other industrial applications.”
Aehr enables its customers to cost-effectively implement the needed testing and qualification process for semiconductor devices that experience early life failures by not only applying the electrical stress condition to every device on the wafer but by also testing up to 18 wafers at a time using the FOX-XP production test and burn in system. These electrical tests are done with up to thousands of precise calibrated electrical source and measurement instruments per wafer. These tests are done while maintaining the temperature at an accurately programmed thermal temperature across each of the wafers using a direct conduction thermal transfer via a proprietary patented precision thermal chuck per wafer.
The FOX-NP compliments Aehr’s production FOX-XP system by using the exact same test ‘Blades’ that are in the FOX-XP to allow 100% correlation between the results on the FOX-NP to the FOX-XP.
The FOX-XP and FOX-NP systems, available with multiple WaferPak Contactors (full wafer test) or multiple DiePakTM Carriers (singulated die/module test) configurations, are capable of functional test and burn-in/cycling of devices such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride power semiconductors, silicon photonics as well as other optical devices, 2D and 3D sensors, flash memories, magnetic sensors, microcontrollers, and other leading-edge ICs in either wafer form factor, before they are assembled into single or multi-die stacked packages, or in singulated die or module form factor.
Original – Aehr Test Systems