6 January 2023
Aehr receives follow-on production order from second major SiC customer
Semiconductor production test and reliability qualification equipment supplier Aehr Test Systems of Fremont, CA, USA has received a follow-on production order from its second major silicon carbide (SiC) customer for an additional production FOX-XP multi-wafer test & burn-in system configured with Aehr’s fully integrated and automated WaferPak Aligner (to ship in Aehr’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2023, beginning 1 March).
The FOX-XP system is configured with Bipolar Voltage Channel Module (BVCM) and Very High Voltage Channel Module (VHVCM) options that enable new advanced test and burn-in capabilities for silicon carbide power semiconductors using Aehr’s proprietary WaferPak full-wafer contactors. This customer serves several significant markets including the electric vehicle (EV) industry as well as other industrial applications.
“They have told us, and we believe they will order, a significant number of FOX-XP systems for volume production of their silicon carbide devices at facilities around the world to meet the exploding forecasted market demand for silicon carbide devices for electric vehicles and other industrial markets,” says president & CEO Gayn Erickson.
“In addition to the cost-effectiveness and scalability of our system, this customer has told us how important automation is to them across their wafer fabrication and assembly and test, and that our fully integrated FOX-XP with automated WaferPak alignment and handling is key to meeting their high-volume production needs that are critical to their scalability, as well as the quality and reliability goals of the customers and markets they serve… This customer will be our lead customer for high volume using our new fully automated WaferPak Aligner integrated with the new FOX-XP wafer-level test and burn-in system,” he adds.
“The FOX-XP with integrated WaferPak Aligner uses our proprietary WaferPak full-wafer contactors and supports 100mm, 150mm, 200mm and 300mm wafer sizes using industry-standard wafer cassettes and FOUPs (Front Opening Unified Pods). This allows customers to easily support multiple wafer sizes, which is critical to the silicon carbide market where a high mix of wafer sizes is expected in high-volume production over the next several years. This new configuration allows our customers to move and align the wafers automatically into our proprietary WaferPaks and place the WaferPaks into and out of our multi-wafer FOX-XP systems that test and burn-in up to 18 wafers at a time,” Erickson continues.
“The FOX-XP configured with the integrated and automated WaferPak Aligner has a number of additional very valuable features for automation of the test floor. These include unattended changeovers from one product to the next, and the ability to run multiple different product type wafers in parallel. In addition, 100% tracking and traceability of wafers and logging individual die test results has become key to companies serving mission-critical applications and markets such as the electric vehicle engine inverters and their on-board and off-board chargers that are driving the explosive demand for silicon carbide devices.”
“Forecasts from William Blair estimate that the silicon carbide market for devices in electric vehicles alone, such as traction inverters and on-board chargers, is expected to grow from 119,000 6-inch-equivalent SiC wafers for electric vehicles in 2021 to more than 4.1 million 6-inch equivalent wafers in 2030, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.4%. Total 6-inch-equivalent SiC wafers for all current addressable markets are expected to grow to nearly seven million 6-inch-equivalent SiC wafers in 2030,” Erickson says.
“The FOX family of compatible systems including the FOX-NP and FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in systems and Aehr’s proprietary WaferPak full-wafer contactors provide a uniquely cost-effective solution for burning in multiple wafers of devices at a single time to remove early-life failures of silicon carbide devices, which is critical to meeting the initial quality and long-term reliability the automotive, industrial and electrification infrastructure industry needs,” adds Erickson. “The FOX-XP system can be configured with up to nine or 18 wafers, depending on the customer’s specific test requirements and power configuration and is fully compatible with Aehr’s FOX-NP system, which is a two-wafer system that is a great fit for new production introduction and qualification.”
Available with multiple WaferPak Contactors (full-wafer test) or multiple DiePak Carriers (singulated die/module test) configurations, the FOX-XP and FOX-NP systems are capable of functional test and burn-in/cycling of devices such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride power semiconductors, silicon photonics as well as other optical devices, 2D and 3D sensors, flash memories, magnetic sensors, microcontrollers, and other leading-edge ICs in either wafer form factor, before they are assembled into single or multi-die stacked packages, or in singulated die or module form factor.