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Characterizing all Key Parameters of Semiconductor Power Devices

Keysight B1505A20 April 2015 – Keysight Technologies introduced significant enhancements to the B1505A Power Device Analyzer/Curve Tracer, making it the industry’s only solution able to characterize all key parameters of on-wafer and packaged devices for modern semiconductor power device development. The instrument measures Ciss, Coss, Crss, Gate Charge/Resistance and performs Automatic Thermal Testing.

Highly efficient and reliable semiconductor power devices play a critical role in the rapidly growing power electronics industry. Efficient device development requires new types of characteristics, such as gate charge (Qg), device capacitances (Ciss, Coss and Crss), and gate resistance (Rg) to be thoroughly evaluated alongside more conventional device characteristics and do so for on-wafer and the packaged form of a device. Characterizing the device under real operating conditions, such as low or high temperature, also is important. Until now however, there was no single solution for engineers that would perform all of these functions.

With its new enhancements, the B1505A now provides engineers with the complete characterization capabilities needed for on-wafer and packaged devices. An automatic thermal testing capability, synchronized with thermal management equipment, covers an operating temperature of -50 degrees C to +250 degrees C. New measurement capabilities enable measurement of automatic, high-voltage-biased device capacitances and Rg. Engineers can make the Qg curve measurement with a new method using low- and high-voltage setups, which allows accurate characterization for very high power devices such as an IGBT module.

The newly enhanced B1505A also features a flexible and upgradable hardware architecture designed to accommodate virtually any need a device or process engineer may have. For those needing to perform intensive reliability testing, for example, the B1505A’s architecture supports a configuration with up to five high-voltage source monitor units.

The B1505A’s new enhancements make it well suited for device and process engineers, power device manufacturer QA engineers and semiconductor power-device researchers working to develop reliable power devices (e.g., IGBT and power MOSFETs) or new wide band-gap materials for power devices, such as silicon carbide or gallium nitride. Engineers also can use the B1505A for incoming device inspections and failure analysis.

“Reliability and energy efficiency are top priorities for modern power devices,” said Masaki Yamamoto, general manager of Keysight’s Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division. “But developing these devices requires engineers to deeply characterize them across a wide range of operating conditions and fully evaluate their gate charge, gate resistance and device capacitances. Thanks to its new enhancements, the B1505A delivers the functionality needed to easily and accurately perform these tasks, and sets a new standard in power-device testing.”

The Keysight B1505A is a single-box solution for power device evaluation based on the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Its broad measurement range from sub-pA to 10 kV/1500 A enables precise µohm on-resistance measurements, while its 10 µs fast pulse capability enables complete power device characterization. With its scalable architecture, easy-to-use software environment, next-generation curve tracer, and automated test-and-analysis capabilities, the B1505A provides unparalleled performance and ease of use for power-device characterization.

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