T3Ster - Dynamic Thermal Characterization

By: Flomerics  09-12-2011
Keywords: Equipment Manufacturers, failure analysis, Can Design

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.

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.

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.

On-demand Web Seminar

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 upto 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
  • Automated device calibration with our dry thermostat and a couple of supported liquid-cooled thermostats
  • Easy connection of any type of thermocouples through the appropriate preamplifiers
  • Increased level of switched power with the different booster options

“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

Keywords: Can Design, Circuit Designers, Continuously Increasing, Cooling Assemblies, Equipment Manufacturers, failure analysis, Interface Materials, Power Cycling, Property Identification, Proprietary System, Qualification Testing, SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE, semiconductor manufacturers, Thermal Interface, Thermal Interface Materials, Web Seminar,

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