Tackling the wide bandgap test challenge

May 08, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
The PD1500 double pulse wide bandgap test system from Keysight
Keysight Technologies has launched a double-pulse tester for the safe and reliable dynamic measurement of high voltage wide bandgap (WBG) devices.

Global growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market is driving strong demand for small, high power, efficient electric power systems. Wide bandgap test is a challenge in mission critical applications like renewable energy and EVs, and many power converter designers are hesitant to adopt the new technology. This comes from potential reliability and repeatability risks in characterizing insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), silicon carbide (SiC), and gallium nitride (GaN) devices.

Fully characterizing a SiC or GaN device requires static and dynamic measurements. While Keysight's B1505A and B1506A Power Device Analyzers provide static measurements, the PD1500A dynamic analyzer now adds a variety of dynamic measurements. This functionality is key since the standards for wide bandgap test, established by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), continue to evolve.

The PD1500A is designed to be modular, allowing many device types to be tested and different characterization tests to be performed at a variety of power levels. The initial system provides complete double-pulse test characterization and parameter extraction for Si and SiC power semiconductors with ratings up to 1.2 kV and 200 A. Additional modules will be added to the PD1500A in the future to perform tests on devices requiring more current, such as GaN and power modules.

This reduces costs and accelerates time to market by reducing design time and number of prototypes needed and ensures a safe wide bandgap test environment. Test engineers can document, support and maintain an off-the-shelf test solution, as well as maintain multiple test solutions across one or more sites, and quickly respond to reliability concerns with measurements that focus on ruggedness (e.g., short-circuit and avalanche)


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