12 April 2017
EPC issues ninth reliability report
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA, which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) for power management applications, has announced its Phase Nine Reliability Report, which documents a combined total of over 9 million GaN stress device-hours with zero failures after rigorous thermo-mechanical board-level reliability testing.
The report adds to the growing knowledge base previously published in EPC’s first eight reports and represents an ongoing commitment to study, learn and share information on the reliability of GaN technology, says the firm. “Demonstration of the reliability of new technology is a major undertaking,” comments CEO & co-founder Dr Alex Lidow. “The test results described in this ninth reliability report show that EPC gallium nitride products in wafer-level chip-scale packages have the superior reliability, cost and performance to displace silicon as the technology of choice for semiconductors,” he adds. “The time has come to finally ditch the package.”
EPC FETs and ICs are made in wafer-level chip-scale packages (WLCSP), which improves performance, lowers cost, and minimizes board real-estate, while improving reliability, says the firm. WLCSP offer excellent thermal dissipation, which is critical when the devices are soldered to printed circuit boards for end-use applications, EPC adds. The main section of the report covers thermo-mechanical board-level reliability.
Devices for this study were chosen that span package size and solder layout configurations and a predictive model for solder joint integrity was developed. Customers can apply the thermo-mechanical stress model given in the report to predict reliability in their specific end-use applications. Using the correlation between strain at the solder joint together with fatigue lifetime, the model can be used to predict thermal cycles to failure for arbitrary stress conditions related to specific end-use applications.
The cumulative reliability information compiled over EPC’s nine reliability reports shows that eGaN FETs and ICs have solid reliability and can operate with very low probability of failures within expected lifetimes of end-products, says EPC. Given the superior performance, cost and reliability reported of GaN products over silicon devices, the time has come to move away from the less reliable packaged silicon devices and move to chip-scale GaN technology FETs and ICs, the firm asserts.