• EPC Introduces Three Evaluation Boards

    EPC Introduces Three Evaluation Boards

    2 Min Read

    EPC introduces three evaluation boards – EPC9179, EPC9181, and EPC9180 – featuring pulse current laser drivers of  75 A, 125 A, and 231 A , showcasing EPC’s AEC-Q101 GaN FETs. These FETs; EPC2252, EPC2204A, and EPC2218A are 30% smaller and more cost-effective than their predecessors. Designed for both long and short-range automotive lidar systems, these boards expedite solution evaluation with varied input and output options.

    All boards share identical functionality, differing only in peak current and pulse width. Utilizing a resonant discharge power stage, they employ a ground-referenced GaN FET driven by LMG1020 gate driver. The GaN FET’s ultrafast switching enables rapid discharge of a charged capacitor through the load’s stray inductance, enabling peak discharge currents of tens to hundreds of amps within nanoseconds.

    The printed circuit board is designed to minimize power loops and common source inductance while offering mounting flexibility for laser diodes or alternative loads. To enhance user-friendliness, all boards ship with EPC9989 interposer PCBs, featuring various footprints to accommodate a variety of laser diodes or other loads. Customers can choose one that meets their needs to evaluate the GaN solutions.

    The EPC9179/81/80 boards are designed to be triggered from 3.3V logic or differential logic signals such as LVDS. For single-ended inputs, the boards can operate with input voltages down to 2.5 V or 1.8 V with a simple modification. Designing an automotive lidar system is complex, and finding a reliable solution is challenging. The purpose of these evaluation boards is to simplify the evaluation of powerful GaN-based lidar drivers that switch faster and deliver higher pulse current than other semiconductor solutions. For technical details, EPC offers full schematics, bill of materials (BOM), PCB layout files, and a quick start guide on EPC’s website.

    “To meet the growing demand for automotive lidar, these cost-effective boards, featuring our latest AEC products, streamline evaluation, reducing time-to-market with exceptional switching performance,” said Alex Lidow, CEO, and co-founder of EPC.

    Original – EPC

    Comments Off on EPC Introduces Three Evaluation Boards
  • Allegro MicroSystems Launches Second Product in its HV Power Portfolio

    Allegro MicroSystems Launches Second Product in its HV Power Portfolio

    2 Min Read

    Allegro MicroSystems, Inc. announced the launch of the second product in its High Voltage Power portfolio. Allegro’s AHV85111 isolated gate-driver IC adds critical safety features while simplifying the design of high-power energy conversion systems for e-Mobility and clean energy applications, including OBC/DCDC, solar inverter and datacenter power supply.

    “Allegro continues to build upon the technology from our acquisitions in order to expand our High Voltage Power portfolio aimed at  helping designers achieve their efficiency and power density needs in clean energy and e-Mobility systems,” said Vijay Mangtani, Vice President and General Manager for High Voltage Power at Allegro. “The bipolar-output of our latest device improves noise immunity and significantly simplifies high-frequency power-converter designs.”

    Building upon Allegro’s existing power-thru technology, the AHV85111 was designed to meet designer demands for a simple, streamlined and safe solution. The AHV85111 gate driver adds bipolar-output, a critical feature that significantly improves time to market by eliminating the need to design a complicated negative isolated DC power supply and removing unnecessary external components.

    Allegro’s newest power-thru solution also adds crucial safety features that were designed to protect against high operating temperatures in electric powertrain systems, as well as reactions to noisy environments that may be present in microinverters in solar applications, power supply in datacenter applications or on-board chargers for electric vehicles.

    The AHV85111 gate driver packs all the benefits of Allegro’s power-thru technology, including 10x lower common-mode capacitance, a 50% smaller footprint, 10x noise reduction and a 50% efficiency improvement compared to competitor offerings, while also providing overtemperature protection that further improves the robustness of system.

    Original – Allegro MicroSystems

    Comments Off on Allegro MicroSystems Launches Second Product in its HV Power Portfolio
  • Aehr Reports Strong Revenue and Earnings Growth

    Aehr Reports Strong Revenue and Earnings Growth

    7 Min Read

    Aehr Test Systems announced financial results for its second quarter of fiscal 2024 ended November 30, 2023.

    Fiscal Second Quarter Financial Results:

    • Net revenue was $21.4 million, up 45% from $14.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2023.
    • GAAP net income was $6.1 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, up 63% from GAAP net income of $3.7 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2023.
    • Non-GAAP net income, which excludes the impact of stock-based compensation, was $6.7 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, up 49% compared to non-GAAP net income of $4.5 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2023.
    • Bookings were $2.2 million for the quarter.
    • Backlog as of November 30, 2023, was $3.0 million. 
    • Total cash and cash equivalents as of November 30, 2023 were $50.5 million, compared to $51.0 million at August 31, 2023.

    Fiscal First Six Months Financial Results:

    • Net revenue was $42.1 million, up 65% from $25.5 million in the first six months of fiscal 2023.
    • GAAP net income was $10.8 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, up 149% compared to GAAP net income of $4.3 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the first six months of fiscal 2023.
    • Non-GAAP net income was $11.9 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, which excludes the impact of stock-based compensation, up 105% compared to non-GAAP net income of $5.8 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, in the first six months of fiscal 2023.
    • Cash provided by operations was $3.4 million for the first six months of fiscal 2024.

    Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented:

    “We had another solid quarter with strong year-over-year growth in revenue and net income as we continue to see increased demand for our wafer level test and burn-in products. Revenue for the quarter was $21.4 million, an increase of 45% year over year, and we generated non-GAAP net income of $6.7 million, slightly over 31% net profit. For the first half of the fiscal year, we grew revenue 65% over the same period last year. 

    “In the last sixty days, we have seen how the slowing of the growth rate of the electric vehicle market has had a negative impact on the timing of several current and new customer orders and capacity increases for silicon carbide devices used in them. For clarity, we do not see the silicon carbide market decreasing, only a temporary slowing of the growth rate. We are also experiencing the impact of shifts in our customers’ product mix, which specifically includes an increase in WaferPakTM full wafer contactors from our lead silicon carbide customer. The net of this is that we now expect a delay in the timing of new orders from current and new customers that will most likely impact this fiscal year’s revenue.  

    “Given the latest forecasts from our customers and the uncertainty on the timing of their orders, we believe it makes sense to take a more conservative approach to our fiscal year forecast and have reduced our growth estimates for fiscal 2024 revenue. We are reducing our revenue expectations of at least $100 million this fiscal year by 15% to 25% to a range of $75 million to $85 million dollars. This is still a growth rate of 15% to 30% year over year.

    “Despite this uncertainty in the timing of orders, we remain confident about the future demand for our unique semiconductor test solutions and the markets they address. We have not reduced our growth expectations for the years ahead, where we continue to see tremendous opportunity. We continue to hear from our current customers as well as companies we are engaged in evaluations with that wafer level burn-in is critical to their product roadmaps to address multiple large and growing markets, including battery and hybrid electric vehicles, industrial and solar power conversion, data and telecommunications infrastructure, and the new and coming optical I/O and co-packaged optics semiconductor markets. 

    “Last month, we announced our first order for a FOXTM wafer level test and burn-in system to be used for gallium nitride (GaN) applications. This 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. We were able to ship this system within a few weeks to meet their needs. We are now working with two of the market leaders in gallium nitride, which positions us front and center in a market that we believe is another potential growth driver for our wafer level solutions. 

    “We continue to make great progress with our previously announced benchmarks and engagements with prospective new customers, including the significant automotive qualification of wafer level burn-in we have been doing with one of the market leaders in silicon carbide (SiC). We believe we have a large opportunity with this potential new customer and feel confident they will move forward with our FOX-XP multi-wafer solution for their high-volume needs, but the timing is taking longer than anticipated. We remain confident that we will receive initial purchase orders from them in fiscal 2024; however, it is not clear whether they will have the infrastructure ready to take shipments from us within our fiscal year that ends on May 31st.

    “We have made significant progress in expanding our customer base for SiC and GaN wafer level burn-in for a wide variety of applications. We currently have a total of seven customers purchasing our solutions for SiC and GaN devices and are also actively engaged with more than two dozen SiC and GaN companies to address their needs for wafer level test and burn-in of these devices. Importantly, 10 of these additional companies have already engaged with Aehr for on-wafer benchmarks. We have never lost a full wafer level burn-in evaluation since introducing our FOX-NP and XP configured with the SiC and GaN nitride test resources, and we believe we will have over 12 SiC/GaN customers buying our wafer level test and burn-in solutions by the end of calendar 2024.

    “In anticipation of both our current and new customers’ forecasted needs, Aehr has put in place the inventory, infrastructure, and processes to increase our manufacturing and installation capacity as well as significantly lower our lead times to meet our customers’ future capacity needs.

    “While we have seen delays in orders from our automotive customers, we are seeing a pick-up in opportunities for SiC wafer level burn-in for applications outside of the electric vehicle market, including industrial, solar, and commuter electric trains as the efficiency and value of SiC is being recognized for these additional markets. While the largest market opportunity for SiC is still electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, industrial and other power conversion market segments represent significant additional opportunities for SiC and for Aehr’s products. William Blair forecasts that the total silicon carbide market is growing at a CAGR of greater than 40% to $8.5 billion in 2025, and over 25% of that will be in industrial and energy power conversion applications.  

    “We are also excited about the potential for the new silicon photonic optical I/O or co-packaged optics market and are expecting to ship our first FOX production system in our third fiscal quarter. This FOX-XP system with new high-power WaferPaks is configured to enable cost-effective production test of up to 3,500 watts of power per wafer and up to nine full wafers in parallel. It also enables our customers to easily dock to our new FOX WaferPak Auto Aligner for hands free operation of 6” to 12” wafers using industry standard wafer cassettes and FOUPs including robotic and overhead transport of wafers in FOUPs. This new FOX-XP configuration allows for the testing of as many as 8,000 high-power optical devices in parallel on each of nine wafers before they are singulated and placed into a photonic application such as fiberoptic transceiver modules or for placement in co-packaged optics for optical chip-to-chip communication, as has been announced on product roadmaps by companies including Nvidia, Intel, AMD, TSMC, and GlobalFoundries. 

    “As we look ahead, we expect continued strong demand for our wafer level burn-in solutions for the markets we currently address, as well as increased demand from the new market opportunities we are seeing. Even with our more conservative guidance, we expect solid year-over-year revenue growth and believe we are poised for continued strong growth for years to come.”

    Original – Aehr Test Systems

    Comments Off on Aehr Reports Strong Revenue and Earnings Growth