Industries and Applications
T3Ster tests the quality of the heat-flow path from the junctions of packaged semiconductor devices towards the ambient. This path consists of different sections, such as the semiconductor chip, the die-attach, the package case, the solder, the PCB, thermal interface materials such as thermal pastes, pads etc, and different cooling assemblies like heat-sinks or heat pipes.
Electronics with active components are everywhere – with diverse requirements for thermal management solutions but they have one thing in common, regardless of the industrial sector: the smallest possible thermal resistance has to be provided for the design of the coolest possible chips. Cool chips typically provide higher reliability (a key parameter in safety critical areas like automotive applications) or better performance - for example, cool LED chips emit more light.
T3Ster helps design and manufacture electronic systems with optimal thermal performance. Its structure function technology is a powerful means of identifying the above mentioned sections of the heat-flow path of an active component. This way in situ testing with live components is possible either in R&D labs or in reliability labs next to production lines on component, subassembly, assembly or system level.
Aerospace & Defense
Failing die-attach or unreliable thermal interface materials represent high risk on aircraft or in electronic control space vehicles – where harsh environmental conditions are present. Therefore, thermal testing is of utmost importance in selecting materials, components and for checking the quality of the final product.
Applications of T3Ster and its accessories include:
- Thermal conductivity measurement of TIMs (thermal interface materials), including in situ tests e.g. before, during and after stress conditions (power cycling or temperature cycling) are applied or ex situ measurements for checking material properties under conditions close to applications
- Finding thermal resistance of packaged IC chips or discrete semiconductor devices such as power MOSFETs
Automotive & Transport
Vibration and high chip temperature combined with a wide range of ambient temperature conditions such as humidity are responsible for aging of electronic components used in cars. In other vehicles such as electric cars or electric locomotives these harsh environmental conditions are combined with a requirement for high current operations: the applied power semiconductor devices such as IGBTs need to be operated at many hundreds or thousands of Amps.
The T3Ster family of products provides a scalable thermal testing solution which can meet a wide set of requirements:
- Standard component testing like RthJC (junction-to-case thermal resistance) measurements according to the latest standards (ie JEDEC JESD51-14)
- Measurement of other classical thermal metrics (such as RthJA) in compliance with JEDEC and MIL standards
- The multi-channel feature of T3Ster is ideal for testing multi-die packages found in automotive electronics
- The T3Ster Booster family is scalable and provides the required voltage and current level for testing components under realistic working conditions. 600A of heating current resulting in a few kW of heating power can be achieved with the standard booster family
- The T3Ster Booster family of products provides power cycling automatically; thermal transient measurement of the stressed component is possible anytime during this test
- Structure function analysis following thermal transient testing is an emerging non-destructive failure detection method
Modern consumer electronics are not different from computers: a smartphone or a flatscreen TV is just another processor with memory but with a great number of special peripherals. As a result, these products are full of integrated circuits. Aesthetic design requirements and consumer expectations combined with densely packed components require strict thermal design criteria to be met. Therefore conducting thermal characterization at both the component and system levels is as important as in other industrial sectors.
The T3Ster product family combined with Mentor’s CFD simulation tools can offer system level thermal testing, compact thermal modeling and model validation:
- The multi-channel feature of T3Ster allows multiple junctions to be measured simultaneously in a system – a feature also very useful to characterize multi-die packages either in lateral or in stacked arrangement
- T3Ster measurements can be used to validate detailed CFD models of IC packages used in consumer electronics by applying DELPHI dual coldplate setups
- T3Ster completed with TeraLED is ideal for comprehensive testing of LEDs used as flashlights or used in backlight units
A major application area for T3Ster is in the development of new packaging solutions - assessing thermal performance of new die-attach technologies and finding standard thermal metrics (such as RthJA and RthJC) of all kinds of packaged semiconductor devices aimed at different applications.
Cool LEDs live longer and emit more light. To make sure that LEDs meet these basic requirements, SSL products require careful design at the LED package, assembly and luminaire levels.
T3Ster and its accessories such as TeraLED, multiplexers and boosters allow thermal testing throughout the product design and quality assurance process.
With the T3Ster family of MicReD thermal testing products, a test setup compliant to the latest thermal testing relevant to LEDs (JEDEC JESD51-14, JESD51-51 and JESD51-52) can be easily created. The scalability of Mentor Graphics solutions can match the requirements of the LEDs being tested. Measurement data postprocessing tools provided with the T3Ster family are integrated into a seamless workflow with Mentor Graphics CFD tools thereby enabling test-based modeling of LED packages or physical validation of detailed CFD simulation models.
- Combined thermal and radiometric/photometric testing of LED packages and LED assemblies in compliance with the latest LED thermal testing standards JEDEC JESD51-51 and JESD51-52 also in compliance with CIE 127:2007
- Large scale testing solutions for LED reliability monitoring – ideal addition to LM80 compliant LED test setups
- Measurement of the real junction-to-case thermal resistance as per JEDEC JESD51-14
- Automated test-based compact modeling of LED packages aimed for CFD based luminaire-level thermal analysis completed with hot lumen calculations in an integrated workflow with FloEFD and FloTHERM CFD solutions