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eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure – How eGaN FETs are expected to behave as the result of high gate voltage stress conditions

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure – How eGaN FETs are expected to behave as the result of high gate voltage stress conditions
Feb 03 2017

The previous installment in this series focused on the physics of failure surrounding thermo-mechanical reliability of EPC eGaN® wafer level chip-scale packages. A fundamental understanding of the potential failure modes under voltage bias is also important. This installment will provide an overview of the physics of failure associated with voltage bias at the gate electrode of gallium nitride (GaN) field effect transistors (FETs). Here we look at the case of taking the gate control voltage to the specified limit and beyond to investigate how eGaN FETs behave over a projected lifetime.

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Thermo-mechanical board level reliability of eGaN devices

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Thermo-mechanical board level reliability of eGaN devices
Jan 13 2017

The first three installments in this series covered field reliability experience and stress test qualification of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN®) field effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits (ICs).  Excellent field reliability that was documented is the result of applying stress tests covering the intended operating conditions the devices will experience within applications.  Of equal importance is understanding the underlying physics of how eGaN® devices will fail when stressed beyond intended operating conditions (e.g. datasheet parameters and safe operating area).  This installment will take a deeper dive into the physics of failure centered around thermo-mechanical reliability of eGaN® wafer level chip-scale packages (WLCSP).

See, Learn, and Discuss eGaN Technology at CES 2017

See, Learn, and Discuss eGaN Technology at CES 2017
Dec 04 2016

Every year in January 2017, the world’s consumer electronics community gathers in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to see, learn and discuss the latest innovations and products available in the world of electronics.

More than 3,800 exhibitors spread out across 2.47 million net square feet of exhibit space, is the location where over 170,000 industry professionals, 50,000 outside of the U.S. wander, ogle, and “play with” the latest electronic devices.

My Predictions for 2017

My Predictions for 2017
Nov 11 2016

In January of 2016 I made several predictions for the then-nascent year. Predictions were made for new markets such as wireless charging, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, and advances in medical diagnostics and internet access. Progress in these markets was made on all fronts, sometimes faster and sometimes slower than anticipated. So here we are about to start a new year and, perhaps foolishly I am ready once again to predict the future.

Gallium Nitride Brings Sound Quality and Efficiency to Class-D Audio

Gallium Nitride Brings Sound Quality and Efficiency to Class-D Audio
Oct 27 2016

Class-D audio amplifiers have traditionally been looked down upon by audiophiles, and in most cases, understandably so. Switching transistors for Class-D amplifiers have never had the right combination of performance parameters to produce an amplifier with sufficient open-loop linearity to satisfy the most critical listeners. This restricted the classical analog modulator Class-D systems to lower-power, lower-quality sound systems.

To accomplish the required headline marketing THD+N performance targets, Class-D amplifiers have had to resort to using large amounts of feedback to compensate for their poor open-loop performance. By definition, large amounts of feedback introduce transient intermodulation distortion (TIM), which introduces a ‘harshness’ that hides the warm subtleties and color of the music that were intended for the listening experience.

Forget Everything You Thought You Knew About Semiconductors

Forget Everything You Thought You Knew About Semiconductors
Oct 13 2016

In past postings , we looked at the applications that have emerged because of new capabilities available with #GaN technology. We also discussed the transformational nature of some of these applications in areas like medicine, telecommunications,human-machine interfaces, and the delivery of electrical power itself (wireless power transfer). GaN technology is entering an era similar to the 80’s and 90’s when the utility of technological improvement was apparent across broad commercial markets. Consequentially, consumers will be willing to pay a premium for the life-style improvements enabled by these improvements thereby accelerating growth of GaN applications for the foreseeable future.

GaN Technology for the Connected Car

GaN Technology for the Connected Car
Sep 29 2016

GaN technology is disruptive, in the best sense of the word, making possible what was once thought to be impossible – eGaN® technology is 10 times faster, significantly smaller, and with higher performance at costs comparable to silicon-based MOSFETs. The inevitability of GaN displacing the aging power MOSFET is becoming clearer with domination of most existing applications and enabling new ones.

Drones…Up, Up, and Away

Drones…Up, Up, and Away
Sep 15 2016

Drones are on the rise. In fact, use of drones is only limited by our imagination – from merely recreational (think “drone races”) to delivering packages (as promised by Amazon) to a range of life-saving military uses (such as real-time battlefield imaging). Emerging high speed, small size, and highly efficient gallium nitride power semiconductors are key contributors to the expansion of drone applications, including onboard equipment such as LiDAR imaging and navigation systems and 4G/5G communication transmitters. Let’s take a look at how GaN technology and the expansion of drone applications intersect.

A drone, or more technically, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft without a pilot on board. Control of the drone is accomplished either under remote control from the ground or under control of an onboard computer.

Although drones originated mostly in military applications, civilian drones now vastly outnumber military drones, with estimates of over 9 million consumer drones to be sold in 2016 world wide for a total market value of near $3 billion.

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - eGaN Stress Test Qualification and Capability

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - eGaN Stress Test Qualification and Capability
Aug 20 2016

The first two installments in this series reported in detail on field reliability experience of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN®) FETs and integrated circuits (ICs). The excellent field reliability of eGaN® devices demonstrates stress-based qualification testing is capable of ensuring reliability in customer applications. In this installment we will examine the stress tests that EPC devices are subjected to prior to being considered qualified products.