Test & Measurement

Power device analyser boasts double-pulse test capability

A dynamic power device analyser with double-pulse tester (PD1500A) from Keysight Technologies delivers reliable, repeatable measurements of wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, while ensuring the safety of the measurement hardware and the professionals performing the tests.

The company is eyeing the global growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market which is driving strong demand for small, high power, efficient electric power systems.

The industry is turning to WBG semiconductor technology for mission critical applications like renewable energy and EVs, but many power converter designers are hesitant to adopt this new technology due to potential reliability and repeatability risks in characterising a new generation of semiconductors including insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), silicon carbide (SiC), and gallium nitride (GaN).

Fully characterising a SiC or GaN device requires static and dynamic measurements, which is where Keysight's B1505A and B1506A Power Device Analysers step in. They deliver these static measurements and, with the addition of the PD1500A, also provide the flexibility needed to address a variety of dynamic measurements.

This functionality is key since the standards for WBG devices, established by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), continue to evolve. JEDEC is a semiconductor trade and engineering standardisation organisation.

The power analyser is designed to be modular, allowing many device types to be tested and different characterisation tests to be performed at a variety of power levels.

The initial system provides complete double-pulse test characterisation and parameter extraction for Si and SiC power semiconductors with ratings up to 1.2kV and 200A.

Additional modules will be added to the PD1500A in the future to perform tests on devices requiring more current, such as GaN and power modules.

Using the power analyser Keysight says customers can lower costs and accelerate time to market by reducing design time and number of prototypes needed, ensure a safe test environment and document, support and maintain an off-the-shelf test solution, as well as maintain multiple test solutions across one or more sites.

It also enables them to quickly respond to reliability concerns with measurements that focus on ruggedness (e.g., short-circuit and avalanche), simplify and automate the testing processes and improve device models used in design and simulation software.

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