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Global growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market is driving strong demand for small, high power, efficient electric power systems. As the industry turns to (WBG) semiconductor technology for mission critical applications like renewable energy and EVs, many power converter designers are hesitant to adopt this new technology due to potential reliability and repeatability risks in characterizing a new generation of semiconductors including insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), silicon carbide (SiC), and gallium nitride (GaN).
Fully characterizing a SiC or GaN device requires static and dynamic measurements. Keysight’s B1505A and B1506A Power Device Analyzers deliver these static measurements and, with the addition of the new PD1500A, now also provides the flexibility needed to address a variety of dynamic measurements. This is key since the standards for WBG devices, established by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), continue to evolve. JEDEC is a semiconductor trade and engineering standardization organization.
Keysight’s 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.
“To safely and consistently make the switch to innovative power devices, the automotive e-mobility ecosystem needs to evolve past using homegrown dynamic testing systems, which can be unreliable with non-warranted performance and characteristics,” stated Siegfried Gross, vice president and general manager of Keysight's Automotive and Energy Solutions Group. “Keysight worked closely with semiconductor manufacturers, as well as designers in the energy and EV industries, to deliver a dynamic power device analyzer platform that includes the essential double-pulse test measurement capability to achieve repeatable, reliable and safe dynamic power device characterization.”
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