21 January 2021
EPC issues 12th reliability report
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits for power management applications – has released its Phase-12 Reliability Report, documenting the strategy used to achieve its field reliability record. eGaN devices have been in volume production for more than 11 years and have demonstrated very high reliability in over 226 billion hours of operation, most of which are in vehicles, LTE base stations, and satellites, to name just a few applications with rigorous operating conditions.
Picture: Physics-based models showing predicted eGaN device lifetime.
Testing eGaN devices to the point of failure provides the information to identify intrinsic failure mechanisms of the devices. Deep knowledge of the behavior of a device over time, temperature, electrical or mechanical stress can hence be developed and used to create physics-based models that accurately project the safe operating life of a product over a more general set of operating conditions.
The report is divided into nine sections, each dealing with a different failure mechanism:
- Section 1: Intrinsic failure mechanisms impacting the gate electrode of eGaN devices.
- Section 2: Intrinsic mechanisms underlying dynamic RDS(on).
- Section 3: Safe operating area (SOA).
- Section 4: Testing devices to destruction under short-circuit conditions.
- Section 5: Custom test to assess reliability over long-term light detection & ranging (LiDAR) pulse stress conditions.
- Section 6: Mechanical force stress testing.
- Section 7: Device solderability.
- Section 8: Thermo-mechanical stress.
- Section 9: Field reliability.
“The release of EPC’s 12th reliability report represents the cumulative experience of millions of devices and five generations of technology,” notes CEO & co-founder Dr Alex Lidow. “These reliability tests have been undertaken to continue our understanding of the behavior of GaN devices over a wide range of stress conditions,” he adds.
“Standard power semiconductor qualification testing is inadequate since it only reports parts that pass a very specific test condition,” Lidow continues. “By employing our test-to-fail methodology we have consistently produced more robust, higher-performance and lower-cost products for power conversion applications and have amassed a reliability track record beyond what is achievable with traditional silicon MOSFET technology.”
EPC is hosting a series of webinars highlighting the advances in modeling, predicting and measuring reliability in GaN devices that contribute to the major findings of the Phase-12 Reliability Report.