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Cascade Microtech system speeds up time-to-market for power devices

The unique Tesla probe systems with CT-3100/3200 Curve Tracers address high-voltage, high-power measurement requirements of silicon carbide and gallium nitride devices.

Cascade Microtech, an expert at enabling precision measurements of integrated circuits at the wafer level, has announced that Iwatsu Test Instruments Corporation will manufacture CT-3100/3200 Curve Tracers exclusively for Cascade Microtech to provide versatile wafer-level measurement for the growing power device market.

The curve tracer units strongly complement the high-voltage and high-current capabilities of Cascade Microtech's Tesla probe systems to speed-up the device characterisation process and therefore time-to-market for power device manufacturers.

The market for power transistors will continue to post healthy gains through 2014, according to IC Insights. Steady growth, combined with emerging energy standards and increasing power consumption and conservation efforts, demand additional performance capabilities. As such, pressure has been placed on device manufacturers to rapidly design and characterise new power devices to provide more efficiency.

Power device characterisation requires measuring performance across an entire operating region, often at hundreds of amperes and thousands of volts. High-performance requirements have created the need for innovations in curve tracer technology -- tools that have long been an industry standard for power device characterisation, but that no longer meet today's stringent and higher-power characterisation requirements.

The CT-3100/3200 Curve Tracers are designed specifically for measuring different types of high-power semiconductor devices such as SiC, GaN and/or IGBTs, super-junction MOSFETs, diodes and thyristors. Measurement productivity is enhanced by the built-in USB port and a LAN interface for remote control of the CT-3100/3200. Complementary to existing SMU-based instruments, the CT-3100/3200 Curve Tracers provide fast, accurate characterisation up to 3,000 V, 400 A, 4,000 W peak power and support a leakage mode with cursor resolution of 1 pA.

When used in combination with Cascade Microtech's Tesla probe system, design cycles can be significantly reduced from traditional package-level device characterisation methods that require high-power devices be cut from wafers, packaged and returned for test in custom fixtures. On-wafer characterisation methods reduce these lengthy measurement cycle times by eliminating the need for dicing and packaging steps. As a result, device developers can do more complete characterisations to improve quality and reduce time-to-yield.

"Integrated on-wafer measurement solutions for high-power device characterisation will greatly help customers to speed up their design cycle. No longer do they need to send the wafer for dicing and bonding in the package before devices can be tested accurately. Measurements can now be made at the wafer level," said Misao Saito, president of Iwatsu Test Instruments Corporation. "We are happy to partner exclusively with Cascade Microtech, one of the world's leading experts at wafer-level probing, to ensure our power device customers have accurate test information and advanced test capability, to reduce development time and cost."

"We are pleased to now offer Iwatsu curve tracers which, when paired with our Tesla system, will deliver an-integrated measurement solution for power device characterisation not previously offered in the market," said Michael Burger, president and CEO, Cascade Microtech. "Efficient on-wafer characterisation shortens the design cycle, improves product quality and provides our customers with faster time-to-market."
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