Power and Energy Efficiency

Ensure safe, precise and fast Si, SiC and GaN MOSFET testing in a lab and a wafer test environment. Learn more about the testing challenges resulting from the adoption of SiC and GaN into your designs and how to solve them. Discover how to minimize power draw and maximize battery life for your end-products. Accelerate the time-to-market for your designs.

Power Device Characterization

Faster time to market for your power semiconductor devices

Wide bandgap semiconductors (such as SiC and GaN) are now being used along with traditional silicon in demanding applications such as automotive and RF communications because they can operate at higher frequencies, voltages, and temperatures with lower power loss. Improvements in the efficiency of traditional silicon designs, however, enable a strong value proposition to be maintained in many broad-market applications. Get to market faster for your power semiconductor devices while minimizing device failures in the field.

Wide power envelope

Manually characterizing wafer- and package-part level devices for electrical performance requires learning new techniques, equipment, and probing infrastructure for low level measurement (e.g. pA of leakage current measurement in the presence of high breakdown voltage). Source current up to 100A and voltage up to 3000V, as well as optimize the often complex and time-consuming set-up changes between ON-state, OFF-state, and capacitance measurements with Keithley power device test solutions.

ON state MOSFET characterization

Typical ON-state measurement setup.

Safely set up your test

Safely set up your test

8010 High Power Device Test Fixture enables safe and easy connections for testing high power devices up to 3 kV or 100 A.

You also need to safely set up the high voltage tests and quickly get results. Designing it manually requires programming expertise and the capability to design and build a safety-compliant system. You do not need to do it yourself. Get safe and easy connections for testing packaged parts up to 3000V or 100A with the Model 8010 High Power Device Test Fixture. Perform common I-V tests quickly and easily without programming with ACS-BASIC.

2X Faster Device Characterization for improved time to market

For devices like traditional Si and GaN requiring a smaller power envelope, get results quickly to meet time to market demands with the 4200A Parameter Analyzer that can automate all characterization tests up to 200V and 1A.Semiconductor parametric analysis for MOSFETs and MOSCAPs

4200A-SCS Parameter Analyzer.

Avoid expensive overdesigning of your wide bandgap device

Floating differential measurements (such as high-side Vgs) are difficult or impossible to make due to high frequency (fast turn on and turn offs), and the presence of high common mode voltages (such as Vds) because oscilloscope probes do not have sufficient common mode rejection at high bandwidth. The poor common mode rejection leads to the measurement being dominated by the common mode error instead of the actual differential signal. Tektronix has the only solution offering an isolated probe (ISOVu) that does not de-rate with frequency at the operating requirements of GaN and SiC devices, allowing you to make accurate differential measurements. This allows you to precisely calculate and prove conduction losses, dead time losses, switching losses. Additionally, if you are not using an integrated gate driver, the ability to make floating differential measurements allows you to precisely measure and control dead-time for turn-on and turn-off of your device. You can also now avoid overestimation of high-frequency emissions from power converters due to the transient voltage (dv/dt) and current generated during hard switching.

One more thing to watch out for is the impact of probe capacitance at higher switching frequencies. Too much probe capacitance results in the rising edge of the being rounded off in the measurement, leading to important high frequency switching characteristics being lost. Also, adding the probe to the very sensitive floating gate signals can lead to damaging the device due to transient signals caused capacitance charge. The low capacitance of the ISOVu probe also minimizes probe capacitance issues at the gate and risk of damage to the device due to transient signals.

Measuring high side Vgs in the presence of high common mode voltages (Vds)

With the IsoVu probe, the high-side gate voltage waveform can be accurately captured to evaluate and optimize switching performance and reliability without degrading dV/dt.

Solving Connection Challenges in On-Wafer Power Semiconductor Device Test

Learn how to minimize connection changes, opportunities for user error, and frustration when performing comprehensive DC I-V and C-V testing of power semiconductor devices.

Solving Connection Challenges in On-Wafer Power Semiconductor Device Test

Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions Case Study

Tektronix IsoVu measurement systems help Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions significantly shorten development time for new GaN device.

Panasonic-Case-Study_51W-60856-0_110916

Fast-Switching Power Electronics Design

Faster time to market for your power conversion designs

Market trends like SiC and GaN introduce new complexities into your power conversion circuits with faster switching speeds to get reduction in passive (induction and capacitance) component sizes, requiring the need to be precise in circuit timing. You need to deal with higher sensitivity for gate threshold voltage and timing. You also need a more robust PCB design for EMI/EMC issues due to higher switching frequencies.

Overcome high common mode voltages

Floating differential measurements (such as high-side Vgs) are difficult or impossible to make due to high frequency (fast turn on and turn offs), and the presence of high common mode voltages (such as Vds) because oscilloscope probes do not have sufficient common mode rejection at high bandwidth. The poor common mode rejection leads to the measurement being dominated by the common mode error instead of the actual differential signal.

Tektronix has the only solution offering an isolated probe (ISOVu) that does not de-rate with frequency at the operating requirements of GaN and SiC devices, allowing you to make accurate differential measurements. This allows you to precisely calculate and prove conduction losses, dead time losses, switching losses. Additionally, if you are not using an integrated gate driver, the ability to make floating differential measurements allows you to precisely measure and control dead-time for turn-on and turn-off of your device. You can also now avoid overestimation of high-frequency emissions from power converters due to the transient voltage (dv/dt) and current generated during hard switching.

Measuring high side Vgs in the presence of high common mode voltages (Vds)

Overcome common sources of measurement error using IsoVu.

Simultaneously measure multiple control and timing signals

With faster switching frequencies, you need to simultaneously monitor multiple signals while working on controls and the timing circuit for the power converter (for e.g. high side Vgs, low side Vgs, high side Vds, low side Vgs, Id, IL and Iload, control signals etc.). You also need to measure low voltage signals (Vgs) signals in the presence of high voltage signals (Vds). You need an oscilloscope with a high channel count and high vertical resolution.

 circuit diagram showing controls and the timing circuit for the power converter

Measurement points for time and control signals.

Faster automated power measurements

automated measurements for switching losses

Switching loss shows power dissipation in a FET. Waveforms are annotated with color-coded markers showing the measurement regions for Ton, Toff, and Total cycle, corresponding to values in the results badge. Controls in the results badge let you easily traverse from cycle to cycle.

Accurate and repeatable switching and conduction loss measurements on high frequency SiC and GaN devices require resolution, multiple acquisition averaging, and complex waveform math. You need to make automated measurements for power quality, harmonics, safe operating area, and switching losses. 5 Series MSO oscilloscopes with 5-PWR and probing solution provide automated measurement capabilities along with the ability to troubleshoot problems.

Don’t fail compliance

Regulations and market requirements for power efficiency, stand by power, harmonics, and EMI are getting more stringent. Performing early pre-compliance is now becoming more critical for passing compliance later, saving time to market and money if designs fail compliance later. You need power analyzers with pre-compliance software for automated and accurate power efficiency, harmonics and stand by pre-compliance. You also need spectrum analyzers with pre-compliance software for easy and accurate EMI pre-compliance.

EMI Pre compliance test setup

Affordable pre-compliance testing can easily be setup to uncover potential problems so that you can minimize test time in more expensive compliance test facilities.

SiC MOSFET and GaN FET Switching Power Converter Analysis Kit

SiC MOSFET and GaN FET Switching Power Converter Analysis Kit

To gain real benefits from SiC and GaN devices, switching must be very fast and requires very tight tolerances on gate drive design, turn-on/turn-off times and dead-time. It is critical that you get accurate visibility into all these signals, so the right design decision can be made. Increasing design margins and over designing will only drive your cost up and performance down. The right measurement equipment then, makes all the difference. If you can’t see it, you can’t fix it.

Reacting to the challenges faced by engineers working on these challenges, Tektronix is introducing SiC MOSFET and GaN FET Switching Power Converter Analysis Kit, which is currently the only solution in the market that can accurately characterize most of the critical parameters for optimizing Power Electronics topologies that use technology like SiC, GaN or any other fast switching silicon power devices.

Accurately Measuring High Speed GaN Transistors

Efficient Power Conversion describes proper measurement techniques when making measurements on their GaN FETs.  This EPC application note shows how to use the Tektronix IsoVu Optically Isolated Probe System to make accurate, repeatable measurements, thanks to extremely high common mode rejection.

Accurately Measuring High Speed GaN Transistors

Maximizing Battery Life of IoT Devices

The Challenge of Measuring Low IoT Currents

To maximize battery life, your product current draw must be kept to an absolute minimum. This requires that you use low power components and efficient techniques to de-energize components when they are not in use. You need sensitive measurement instrumentation to measure current levels as low as nA.

Determine the load current profile

It can be difficult to characterize the load current profile of a prototype IoT device, because you must measure the current in a wide range of operating states:

  • sleep mode (from nA to µA),
  • standby modes (from hundreds of microamps to tens of milliamps), and
  • active states (from milliamps to amps), including short current bursts due to wireless transmissions

To accurately capture these widely varying load current levels, you need an exceptional measurement solution that includes:

  • A wide current measurement range, from hundreds of nanoamps to amps
  • The measurement speed to capture current pulses just a few microseconds wide
  • A large memory buffer to store the prototype device’s current profile

Keithley’s DMM7510 7½-digit Graphical Sampling Multimeter is well-equipped to meet these demands, as it offers:

  • pA current sensitivity
  • 1 Msample/s sampling
  • 27 M data points of memory

Watch now to learn how to solve the IoT measurement challenges.

Simulate any battery type

How low can the battery voltage drop before your IoT device turns off? Gauging battery performance at different stages of battery discharge is difficult, as it requires instrumentation that can accurately simulate battery performance.

To address this, Keithley’s 2281S-20-6 Battery Simulator makes it easy to model any type of battery. It allows you to efficiently test prototype IoT devices in any battery state, with high repeatability to effectively estimate battery life. Combining a 2281S-20-6 Battery Simulator with a DMM7510 Graphical Sampling Multimeter will give you a complete solution for assessing power consumption and battery life of your IoT prototypes.

Battery simulator

Program the battery simulator for any state of charge, such as near the completely discharged state, to determine how a product performs under a low battery condition and to determine the low battery shut-off voltage.

Model any type of battery

Battery model

Create any battery model.

The final piece of the puzzle is to create a model for the battery that powers your IoT device. Keithley’s 2450 or 2460 Graphical SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instruments make it easy to create the model for the battery used by your product.

A battery model-generating script operates the SMU instrument as a controlled current load and derives the model parameters.

Measuring Ultra-Low Power in Wireless Sensor Nodes

This application note provides information on how to characterize the power consumption of a wireless sensor node.

Measuring Ultra-Low Power in Wireless Sensor Nodes

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