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25 June 2008


Ferdinand-Braun-Institute orders Accel-RF system for high-power GaN reliability testing

The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH) in Berlin, Germany has ordered a new High Power Reliability (HiPR) RF test system from Accel-RF Corp of San Diego, CA, USA for the measurement-based reliability assessment of its gallium nitride technology and end-use devices.

FBH collaborates with companies teaming to produce high-power GaN devices for military, space, and commercial markets in Europe. “We have already been contacted by other member companies,” says Accel-RF’s president Roland Shaw, “and expect a high level of interest to ‘standardize’ on the Accel-RF high-power system for reliability testing.”

GaN developers in the USA initially evaluated intrinsic reliability issues using discrete devices operating at a fraction of use-application power levels, says Accel-RF. Some European manufacturers have leveraged the lessons learned on these ‘small-cell’ devices and are moving more rapidly to reliability testing on multi-stage, high-power, application-specific devices. “We are getting significant interest from US manufacturers as well, as they move into this reliability-testing space,” adds Shaw.

The HiPR RF test system can test the intrinsic reliability of high-power discrete devices and MMICs, as well as traditional technology-characterization structures, claims the firm. The system can also be configured for testing applications such as pulsed-power amplifiers used in military electronics and MEMS RF switch devices used in communications and sensor systems.

Accel-RF says that its product line of RF reliability test systems can stress multiple devices simultaneously and independently with DC, thermal, and RF stress up to 18GHz, at base-plate temperatures greater than 250 oC and bias levels requiring up to 100V and 4 Amps.

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