1 February 2022
EPC releases Phase 14 report on GaN reliability
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 announced its Phase-14 Reliability Report, documenting the strategy used to achieve a its field reliability record. The rapid adoption of GaN devices in many diverse applications calls for the continued accumulation of reliability statistics and research into the fundamental physics of failure in GaN devices, the firm says. The Phase-14 Reliability Report presents the strategy used to measure and predict lifetime based on tests that force devices to fail under a variety of conditions. This information can be used to create stronger and higher-performance products for applications such as light detection & ranging (LiDAR) for autonomous cars, robotics, security and drones, high-power-density computing, and satellites.
The report presents the results of testing eGaN devices to the point of failure, which provides the information to identify intrinsic failure mechanisms of the devices. By identifying these, deep knowledge of the behavior of a device over time, temperature, electrical or mechanical stress can 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 eight 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: Applying the physics-based model to common real-world use cases;
- Section 4: Safe operating area (SOA);
- Section 5: Testing devices to destruction under short-circuit conditions;
- Section 6: Custom test to assess reliability over long-term LiDAR pulse stress conditions;
- Section 7: Mechanical force stress testing;
- Section 8: Thermo-mechanical stress.
“The release of EPC’s Phase-14 Reliability Report represents the cumulative experience of millions of devices and five generations of technology to lead to a deeper understanding of the behavior of GaN devices over a wide range of stress conditions,” notes CEO & co-founder Dr Alex Lidow.