30 January 2023
New customer selects Aehr’s FOX system for wafer-level test and burn-in of SiC devices for EVs
Semiconductor production test and reliability qualification equipment supplier Aehr Test Systems of Fremont, CA, USA says that a new customer, which supplies silicon carbide and gallium nitride semiconductor devices, has selected its FOX-P system for qualification and production wafer-level test and burn-in of its silicon carbide devices for automotive electric vehicles.
Aehr says that the FOX solution was chosen on the basis of its proven ability to cost-effectively implement the customer’s target burn-in and stabilization requirements including 100% traceability that every device on the wafer is properly burned in.
The customer will begin its device qualification using an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) supplier that has partnered with Aehr and has FOX-P system capacity installed and capable of doing SiC full-wafer-level test and burn-in of 100% of devices per wafer in a single insertion. The customer will purchase the proprietary FOX WaferPak full-wafer contactors and applications test programs from Aehr, and testing services from the assembly & test supplier for the initial device qualification. Upon qualification of the devices, the customer is expected to purchase new FOX-P system and WaferPak capacity directly from Aehr or through the OSAT.
“Traceability and proof that each device is burned in for the needed test duration, without any chance of a test escape that might allow a device to get through the process and later fail in the field, is critical to the automotive applications these devices will be used in,” says Aehr Test Systems’ president & CEO Gayn Erickson. In the case of silicon carbide used in the traction inverters that convert the high-voltage DC battery power to AC current that drives the electric engines, a device failure results in a ‘walk home event’, where the driver and all passengers get out of the vehicle and walk home.
“Aehr’s FOX-P systems and proprietary WaferPak full-wafer Contactors enable our customers to do economical production volume test and reliability burn-in with processes such as high-temperature gate bias (HTGB) and high-temperature reverse bias (HTRB) very cost effectively and ensure extremely high device quality. Our systems provide test cycle duration lasting for 12, 18 or 24 hours or more for pennies or cents per device capital depreciation cost, and in a footprint that is up to 18 times less than a typical test system on a standard semiconductor wafer prober offered by alternative suppliers,” he adds.
“Aehr has teamed with this OSAT to provide turnkey support of multiple applications including silicon photonics devices used in data, 5G and future central processing units (CPUs) and chipsets, in addition to silicon carbide and gallium nitride used in electric vehicles, solar, industrial and other infrastructure.”
Forecasts from William Blair estimate that the silicon carbide market for devices in electric vehicles alone, such as traction inverters and on-board chargers, will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.4% from 119,000 6-inch-equivalent silicon carbide wafers in 2021 to more than 4.1 million 6-inch-equivalent wafers in 2030, i.e. almost 35 times larger. In addition, 6-inch-equivalent silicon carbide wafers for other markets such as solar, industrial and other electrification infrastructure are expected to grow to another 3 million wafers by 2030.
“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,” says Erickson. “The FOX-XP system can be configured with up to 9 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 product introduction and qualification.”
The FOX-XP and FOX-NP systems, available with multiple WaferPak Contactors (full-wafer test) or multiple DiePak Carriers (singulated die/module test) configurations, 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.