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Power Cycle and Thermal Tester Simulates Lifecycle Performance
05/12/2014

Mentor Graphics Corporation has released the new MicReD Industrial Power Tester 1,500A for power cycling and thermal testing of electronics components to simulate and measure lifetime performance.

The MicReD Industrial Power Tester 1500A is ideal for reliability testing of power electronic components used in industries such as automotive and transportation including in hybrid and electrical vehicles and trains, power generation and converters and renewable energy applications such as wind turbines. It is currently the only commercially available thermal testing product that combines both power cycling and thermal transient measurements with structure function analysis while providing data for real-time failure-cause diagnostics.

Reliability is a prime concern in many industries that use high-power electronics, the company says, so accelerated testing of these modules through a lifetime of cycles is a must for the component supplier, the system supplier, and the OEM. The MicReD Power Tester 1500A can power modules through tens of thousands—potentially millions—of cycles while providing “real-time” failure-in-progress data for diagnostics to reduce test and lab diagnosis time and eliminate the need for post-mortem or destructive failure analysis. Common thermally-induced mechanical failures that the Power Tester 1500A analyzes in “real time” include die-attach wire bond separations, die and package stack-up delamination and cracks, and solder fatigue.

“The ability to pinpoint and quantify degradation in the thermal stack for all semiconductor devices during development will greatly assist in the development of cost-optimized packaging solutions currently hampered by package-reliability concerns,” Mark Johnson, professor of advanced power conversion at the University of Nottingham, said. “Mentor’s Power Tester 1500A should be an invaluable tool for investigating thermal path degradation in all types of power modules.”

The MicReD Industrial Power Tester 1500A can perform power cycling tests of metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and power diodes. The MicReD Power Tester 1500A features a user-friendly touch-screen interface and can record a broad range of information during test, such as current, voltage and die temperature sensing; and detailed structure function analysis to record changes in the package’s thermal structure.

 

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