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Power tester detects thermally-induced failures in real time

Posted: 13 May 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power electronics  test  Mentor Graphics 

Mentor Graphics Corporation has released an industrial power tester that is touted as the only commercially available thermal testing product combining both power cycling and thermal transient measurements.

The MicReD Industrial Power Tester 1500A tests the reliability of power electronic components that are increasingly used in industries such as automotive and transportation including hybrid and electrical vehicles and trains, power generation and converters, and renewable energy applications such as wind turbines.

The machine supports automatic testing and diagnosis of possible failure causes of power components on the manufacturing floor. The measurements can be conducted without needing to remove the components from the test environment. A touch screen interface enables an engineer to see the failure real-time and determine the exact time/cycle and cause.

MicReD 1500A

The Power Tester 1500A analyses thermally-induced failures including die-attach wire bond separations, die and package stack-up delamination and cracks, and solder fatigue. Source: Mentor Graphics

The machine is based on the company's advanced thermal tester used for thermal characterisation of semiconductor device packages and LEDs, and eliminates the need for lab post-mortem. It senses current, voltage, and die temperature while it uses structure function analysis to record changes or failures in the package structure.

Power cycling tests can be conducted across a range of power electronics including of metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and power diodes. It features different powering strategies that can be applied during operation—constant power on/off time, constant case temperature swing, constant junction temperature rise, and constant applied power.

Technological overview of Mentor Graphics' MicRed Industrial Power Tester 1500A.





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