Automate power- and thermal-cycle test with Mentor Graphics’ MicReD 1500A

May 13, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Mentor Graphics’ MicReD Industrial Power Tester 1500A is a complete, packaged system for power cycling and thermal testing of electronics components to simulate and measure lifetime performance.

The test system is a combination of a known, monitored and controlled thermal environment, plus the capability to electrically exercise a power device – MOSFET, IGBT, or module – while precisely measuring and logging forward voltage. The unit can simulate high-stress lifetime operating conditions and monitor any degradation in device performance. Precision logging of Vf combined with a detailed knowledge of the device’s mechanical structure allows interpreation of the failure mechanisms that may be developing within a device.

The MicReD Industrial Power Tester 1500A tests the reliability of power electronic components that are increasingly used in industries such as automotive and transportation including hybrid and electrical vehicles and trains, power generation and converters, and renewable energy applications such as wind turbines. Mentor claims it as the only commercially available thermal testing product that combines both power cycling and thermal transient measurements with structure function analysis while providing data for real-time failure-cause diagnostics.

The tester might be used by semiconductor device manufacturers to evaluate device and package performance; or by module makers; or by end-equipment builders to verify the performance of components within a product design, over extended life. It examines thermally induced degradations within the module stack-up. Both power cycling and thermal transient measurements are conducted on the MicReD Power Tester 1500A, without needing to remove the components from the test environment. A technician or engineer is able to see the failure as it progresses and determine the exact time/cycle and cause.