April 13, 2017
Efficient Power Conversion Corp. (EPC) announced its Phase Nine Reliability Report showing the results of a rigorous set of thermo-mechanical board level reliability testing. The Phase Nine Reliability Report adds to the growing knowledge base previously published in EPC's first eight reports and represents an ongoing commitment to study, learn, and share information on the reliability of GaN technology.
According to Dr. Alex Lidow, CEO and co-founder of EPC, “Demonstration of the reliability of new technology is a major undertaking and one that EPC takes very seriously. The test results described in this ninth reliability report show that EPC gallium nitride products in wafer level chip-scale packages have the superior reliability, cost, and performance to displace silicon as the technology of choice for semiconductors. The time has come to finally ditch the package.”
EPC FETs and ICs are made in wafer level chip-scale packages (WLCSP), which improves performance, lowers cost, and minimizes board real estate, while improving reliability. WLCSP offer excellent thermal dissipation, which is critical when the devices are soldered to printed circuit boards for end-use applications. The main section of this report covers thermo-mechanical board level reliability.
Devices for this study were chosen that span package size and solder layout configurations and a predictive model for solder joint integrity was developed. Customers can apply the thermo-mechanical stress model given in this report to predict reliability in their specific end-use applications. Using the correlation between strain at the solder joint together with fatigue lifetime, customers can use the model to predict thermal cycles to failure for arbitrary stress conditions related to specific end-use applications.
The cumulative reliability information compiled over EPC’s nine reliability reports shows that eGaN® FETs and ICs have solid reliability and can operate with very low probability of failures within expected lifetimes of end products. Given the superior performance, cost, and reliability reported of GaN products over silicon devices, the time has come to move away from the less reliable packaged silicon devices and move to chip-scale GaN technology FETs and ICs.