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January 14, 2015

Lee Stauffer, Senior Staff Technologist, Keithley Instruments
Lee Stauffer, Senior Staff Technologist, Keithley Instruments
Lee Stauffer, Senior Staff Technologist, Keithley Instruments
I think the future success of the power semi device industry will depend in large part on how well test equipment manufacturers help their customers address the challenges associated with wafer level testing of these devices. Wafer level testing demands the ability to make several different types of measurements--ON-state (high current I-V) at microvolt levels, OFF-state (high voltage I-V) at picoamp levels, and capacitance-voltage (C-V) at high bias voltages--on all device terminals.

But each of these test types has unique cabling and overall setup requirements. Between measurements, it's necessary to change the types of cables used, the cabling configuration and connections, and critical hardware between the DUT and instrumentation such as series resistors, protection modules, or bias tees. These changes must be made repeatedly, moving from measurement to measurement and device to device. This process is both time consuming and prone to error. High voltage C-V testing is particularly complicated because there are no standard or reliable measurement setups and methods to follow.

Test engineers have often been forced to develop their own connection solutions through costly and time-consuming trial and error. This can greatly increase the potential for an unsafe work environment, given the high output levels involved. In order to meet the market demand for 2015 and beyond, power device manufacturers must insist that their test equipment suppliers deliver new connection solutions. Until suppliers step up to address these challenges, there will continue to be delays in the development of the next generation of power devices.

At Keithley, we're taking a new approach to instrument connectivity that simplifies complex tests, reduces set-up times, minimizes opportunities for connection errors, improves operator and test hardware protection, and increases users’ confidence in the accuracy of their results. To learn more about how we’re helping our power device manufacturer customers simplify complex measurements like high voltage C-V, download a free application note, “Solving Connection Challenges in On-Wafer Power Semiconductor Device Test Application Note,” available at http://www.keithley.com/data?asset=58203.
Lee Stauffer, Senior Staff Technologist
Keithley Instruments