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ISO 9001Together with its wide range of add-on options, T3Ster® provides flexibility for daily thermal measurement and characterization tasks.

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.

Available Options

T3Ster Extension Box

T3Ster Extension Box

The multichannel power driving module increases the power driver channels of T3Ster equipment from 1 to either 4 or 7 channels. Housed in the same type of enclosure as the main system, this unit provides additional power switching modules and sensor current sources. The main benefit of having an extension box is to enable measurement setups where multiple junctions need to be driven in order to achieve full thermal characterization of the device under test. These include multi-chip module, stacked-die and other multi-die package applications as well as measurement of power LED assemblies with multiple light sources such as RGB modules.

T3Ster Thermostat

T3Ster Thermostat

The Peltier-cell cooled dry thermostat is designed for the calibration of temperature sensing semiconductor structures in the devices being tested. It is controlled by the measurement software and can be used as a single-side cold plate as well. The thermostat module of theT3Ster software provides automatic temperature excursion and calculation of the sensitivity parameter of diode or resistance sensors.

Device calibration software

Device calibration software

Sensitivity of the TSP is identified through device calibration. Thermostat support of K-factor calibration is offered inside the T3Ster measurement control software. A wide range of 3rd party thermostats are supported including all models of JULABO thermostats. Software support for other 3rd party thermostats may also be purchased.

T3Ster Booster Devices

T3Ster Booster Devices

Boosters raise the switched current, voltage and power level. Up to two boosting channels can be placed into a single (19 inch, 3U high) enclosure. Because boosters are modular the systems can be easily extended to drive tens and hundreds of Amperes, and tens and hundreds of Volts. Typical applications of the booster include:

To measure with really high power, external power supplies are required. Built-in software support of Agilent power supplies is provided.

  • measurement of power devices such as thyristors or IGBTs,
  • measurement of power LED assemblies, LED lines,
  • measurement of large area VLSI chips using the substrate diode.

To measure with really high power, external power supplies are required. Built-in software support of Agilent power supplies is provided.

Any number of booster devices can be connected to the system to form a multi-channel high power testing setup used e.g. for reliability testing applications.

Additional Measurement Channels

Additional Measurement Channels

T3Ster can be equipped with up to 8 measurement channels. Systems with fewer channels can be upgraded any time by simply adding the required number of new channels – recognized by the measurement control software automatically.

Thermocouple Pre-Amplifiers

Thermocouple Pre-Amplifiers

Thermocouple pre-amplifiers are provided for an easy interfacing of J, K or T type thermocouples to T3Ster. The amplifiers have a cold point compensation and provide an output voltage range matched to the measurement channels of T3Ster. The power supply of the amplifiers is provided from T3Ster through the measurement channel.

MIL-STD 750E interface

MIL-STD 750E interface

This box is used in connection with high current T3Ster-Booster to serve as constant VCB generator for measurement of BJT-s according to MIL-STD 750E. By using this in connection with the T3Ster main system unit and the high current T3Ster-Booster, all current and voltage sources are available according to the requirements of the classical MIL-STD 750E while providing the superior transient measurement capabilities of the latest T3Ster technology of Mentor Graphics.

For details refer to our white paper titled: Thermal transient measurement of high power bipolar transistors: chances and challenges.

JEDEC Standard Still-Air Chamber

JEDEC Standard: Still-Air Chamber

To assure a JEDEC JESD51-2 compliant setup for thermal transient measurements in a natural convection environment, Mentor Graphics also offers a still-air chamber (1 ft3). The chamber can be easily adjusted to any JEDEC standard thermal test board size and to any edge connector type. Keeping all the essential elements of the standard JEDEC test procedures, transient tests allow exploration of all details in the entire junction-to-ambient heat-flow path with the help of structure functions – in addition to offering the standard, single lumped RthJA value it.

Dual Cold-Plates

Dual cold-Plates

Dual cold-plates are standard in the DELPHI methodology to provide hard thermal boundary conditions for the required thermal measurements. Cold-plates are also essential for junction-to-case thermal measurements.

Junction-to-case measurements can be easily realized with the transient test method and the structure functions.

Although the transient test method for junction-to-case measurements is still just on the standardization roadmap of the JEDEC JC15 committee, it is becoming a de facto industrial standard due to its ease of use.

Liquid cooled dual cold-plates can be used in testing of large, high power devices and are also ideal for testing multiple devices at the same time in multi-channel measurement configurations using e.g. T3Ster extension boxes.

Software support to control wide range of 3rd party external liquid-based thermostats (such different models of JULABO) is provided.

T3Ster TeraLED

T3Ster TeraLED

To properly measure power LEDs, the T3Ster® TeraLED® setup has been developed to allow measurement of light output metrics of power LEDs consistently with their thermal metrics. By measuring the emitted light energy, the real thermal resistance of power LEDs can be identified.

This is now a de facto practice at leading LED manufacturers and is fully compliant to the latest JEDEC LED thermal testing standards JESD51-51 and JESD51-52.

For multi-chip LED packages with high forward voltage the high voltage booster can also be combined with the T3Ster plus T3Ster® TeraLED® setup.

T3Ster DynTIM

T3Ster DynTIM

Thermal interface materials (TIMs) are major bottleneck in today’s IC designs—their thermal resistance can be as high as the total junction-to-ambient thermal resistance of the application. With a wide variety of TIMs (often rebranded) in the marketplace to choose from and, in some instances, the conductivity data in the datasheets may differ from the reality, how are designers able to preselect the best material?

Mentor Graphics offers DynTIM, a high-precision test environment designed to measure the bulk thermal conductivity coefficient of TIMs with exceptional accuracy and reproducibility. The system’s measurement methodology is based on the ASTM D5470-12 test standard, where the thermal conductivity coefficient is derived from the relationship between the sample’s bondline thickness and the corresponding thermal resistance values. But DynTIM is unique: equipped with a power diode as a heat-source and sensor element, this testing system ensures high repeatability of the measured data.

The test sequence is fully automated—a stepper motor’s fine angular movement is responsible for the precise positioning. In the case of ASTM Type I materials (greases and pastes), accuracy of the set bondline thickness is as high as ± 1 µm, while for viscoelastic materials, such as gap pads and gap fillers, accuracy is still as good as ± 5µm.

If samples with different thickness values are available, measurement of solid materials is also possible.

All of these tasks are fully supported by the DynTIM measurement control software as predefined test options. And when combined with fine temperature measurements from T3Ster, DynTIM provides a resolution of 0.01 °C.

After selecting the best candidates from a number of possible TIM materials using DynTIM, designers should characterize the behavior of the short-listed materials using T3Ster in situ, within the targeted application environment. This combined characterization approach ensures that they always make the right choice for their design.

T3Ster-Master Software

T3Ster-Master Software

T3Ster-Master is an optional software tool (available on all types of Windows® operating systems) primarily aimed at post-processing measurement results obtained by the T3Ster equipment. Thanks to its import wizard, thermal transient curves from almost any source can also be post-processed with this tool: simulated thermal transient (and all the descriptive functions derived from it) can be easily compared with measured ones (and with the descriptive functions identified from the measured data). This way one can validate detailed simulation models with test results of packages.

By comparing “measured” and “simulated” structure functions it is possible to identify where in the package the simulation model fails to match reality.

Results of multiple T3Ster measurement “projects” can be displayed in one single plot allowing to quantify differences in structure functions e.g. failures in the heat-conduction path. Besides advanced results presentation options, the latest version of T3Ster-Master provides dynamic compact models in form of Cauer-ladders.

Learn more by reading how NXP Semiconductors used T3Ster and the related results evaluation software to quickly and easily characterize and validate their dynamic compact thermal models (DCTMs).

Onsite Set-up and Training

Onsite Set-up and Training

To help new users become productive quickly, onsite set-up and training services are available. Email or call 1.800.547.3000 for more information.

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