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GaN for Advanced Power Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GaN4AP (GaN for Advanced Power Applications)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2021-06-01 do 2022-05-31

Gallium nitride (GaN) is a wide-bandgap material that is able to take electronic performance to a higher level. The widespread use of GaN-based devices will enable the development of power electronic systems with energy cost savings, lower volume/weight, and lower systems cost.

The EU-funded GaN for Advanced Power Applications (GaN4AP) project has the aim to make GaN-based electronics one of the main technologies for active devices in all power conversion systems. Among the project targets, it is worth remembering the development of innovative power electronic systems, innovative materials, and a new generation of vertical power devices based on GaN. Furthermore, it plans to develop new intelligent and integrated GaN solutions both in system-in-package and monolithic variances.

In the frame of the qualification and reliability of the aforementioned GaN products based, one of the declared goals was to design and have available equipment able to perform the High-Temperature Operating Life (HTOL) test at the state of art.

The JEP180 - “Guideline for Switching Reliability Evaluation Procedures for Gallium Nitride Power Conversion Devices” is the reference guideline to provide the objectives of stress testing for switching reliability of GaN power devices, and hence, it is possible to assuring their reliable use in power conversion applications.
In this perspective, EDA Industries has been involved in this project with the aim to develop and provide the hardware and software that can stress and test several GaN power devices as described in the JEP180.
A first step was jointly done by STMicroelectronics and EDA Industries to maximize the experience reached during the qualification of products silicon-based designed for the mild-hybrid automotive application domain having a bias condition of 48V. For these products and specific domains, STMicroelectronics and EDA Industries already developed equipment able to satisfy the HTOL requirement.

Starting from this architecture, a feasibility study was done to upgrade that equipment with specific features to address, at least as a starting point, the HTOL on GaN devices having bias conditions of 100V and 650V (Figure 1). This study already allowed to have equipment able to perform preliminary reliability evaluation to address specific failure mechanisms on GaN Technology and to begin to store the first knowledge in this specific area.

Three GaN-specific guidelines already released such as JEP173, JEP180, and JEP182 are the key reference to provide the objectives of stress testing for switching reliability of GaN devices. In this perspective, STMicroelectronics and EDA Industries have been involved in this project to develop and provide hardware and software solutions that are able to stress and test several GaN devices according to the guidelines.
By referring to the state of the art, the JEP180 for D-HTOL suggests a minimum of eight core cells should be chosen from each of three different production lots of the intended qualification family to represent the range of process variability. A core cell is the basic switching cell for the application family, e.g. typically a half-bridge for hard-switching applications, so would represent two GaN switches. In this perspective to maximize the throughput of the number of GaN devices stressed simultaneously, a prototype of a D-HTOL DUT Board for twenty GaN devices has been carried out (Figure 2).
The next steps in these projects will include the possibility to stress and test up to one hundred devices at the same time, and it will be able to measure during the test several parameters and the degradations of the GaN devices.
Figure 1 – EDA DM-12 E-OLT/SC upgraded equipment for GaN devices.
Figure 2 – Prototype of a D-HTOL DUT Board for GaN devices.

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