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T3Ster® (pronounced "Trister") is an advanced thermal tester for thermal characterization of semiconductor device packages, producing all kinds of package thermal characteristics in just a few minutes. T3Ster is designed with the needs of the semiconductor, electronic appliance and LED industries and R&D laboratories.

Introduction

A turnkey proprietary system consisting of software and hardware, T3Ster is aimed at dynamic thermal characterization of packaged semiconductor devices (diodes, BJT-s, J-FET-s and MOSFET-s, thyristors, power LED-s), stacked die and other multi-die devices and some MEMS components. With dedicated fixtures and software, characterization of PWB-s or MCPCB-s and other substrates or thermal interface materials and/or cooling assemblies is also possible.

T3Ster is compliant to classical industrial standards such as JEDEC JESD51-1 Electrical Test Method (both dynamic and static test method) as well as it offers the right platform for measurements based on the most recent thermal testing standards: JESD51-14 for the measurement of the junction-to-case thermal resistance of power semiconductor device packages (published in November 2010) or with the T3Ster TeraLED extension it meets all the requirements of the JESD51-50, 51-51 and 51-52 series of standards for thermal characterization of power LEDs (published in April 2012).

Applications include:

  • Heat-flow path reconstruction
  • Die attach qualification
  • Testing of stacked die packages
  • Characterization of power LEDs
  • Material property identification
  • Thermal model verification
  • In-situ, non-destructive failure analysis
  • Reliability testing with power cycling and subsequent structure function analysis
  • Thermal testing of parts in application environment, in live systems

Unlike other systems, T3Ster directly measures the actual heating or cooling curves – the thermal transient response of packaged semiconductor devices – rather than artificially composing them from individual responses. T3Ster offers extremely accurate temperature measurements (0.01° C) and 1 micro-second measurement resolution in time.

Heat dissipation of semiconductor packages has become one of the limiting factors in miniaturization. One of the biggest concerns of circuit designers is to reduce power that is continuously increasing due to increasing bandwidths. The increasing power results in increasing temperature in the chip that first just modifies, later destroys the operation of the circuit, if the heat is not appropriately led out of the device.

Reliability of components can decrease exponentially due to heat problems. Therefore, by using a thermal tester such as T3Ster semiconductor manufacturers can design chips and ICs of superior thermal performance and publish reliable thermal data for downstream applications while equipment manufacturers can design reliable products and avoid thermally induced failures throughout the product’s lifetime.

Features and Benefits

  • Implements the latest JEDEC thermal test standards
  • Provides the best figure of merit available on the market
  • Measures the thermal transient in real-time, without any compromise
  • Properly measure devices - like power LEDs - that other equipment can not
  • Die attach failures are easily located in stacked die packages using structure functions
  • Local support in your local language (such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean in Asia or German, French in Europe) available
  • Measurement consulting services are available
  • Scalable equipment, hardware and software add-on options
  • Extensions – tailored to customer's needs – to support large scale testing available
  • Capable of measuring from ~100mW power level up to the kW range
  • JEDEC compliant thermal resistance measurements and dynamic characterization
  • Support of wide range of thermostats to perform K-factor calibration
  • Heat-flow path details
  • Built-in material thermal property database provided
  • Measurement control even from your notebook computer
  • Robust system, requires no field service or maintenance
  • Continuous development, solid scientific background & consulting services
  • Full support of the transient dual interface method (JEDEC JESD51-14 standard, published in 2010) and the latest LED thermal testing standards (JEDEC JESD51-51, 51-52, published in 2012)

“To reliably measure the interface resistance we needed a transient measuring method. We chose the T3Ster® because of its compactness and ease of use, allowing us to improve data acquisition and processing of the transient thermal data. We were able to improve the accuracy of TIM measurements and measure the contribution of the different components – the heater chip, thermal interface, cooling cap, second interface, and heatsink.”

Dr. Bruno Michel, Advanced Thermal Packaging Manager at IBM Zurich Research Library

“As LEDs become more powerful, more attention should be paid to thermal management, which is essential to ensure stable LED performance and long lifetime. This is why OSRAM is devoting considerable attention to thermal design. T3Ster's accuracy and repeatability enable us to verify our thermal designs and confirm the stability and reliability of our products. By testing in bulk we get increased statistical confidence in the measurement results. The structure functions built into the T3Ster software are extremely powerful for identifying different thermal attach issues during our extensive reliability testing.”

Dr. Thomas Zahner, Quality Manager Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH, Regensburg, Germany

 
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