Accel-RF, a long-time supplier of test systems for reliability testing, was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) follow-on contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory to continue development of millimeter wave accelerated life test systems. The object of the Phase II effort is to demonstrate a system platform for performing end-of-life (EOL) reliability analysis on multiple devices at V-Band (40 to 75 GHz) and W-Band (75 to 110 GHz).

Under the new contract, Accel-RF will design and produce a test system breadboard capable of performing Arrhenius-type reliability prediction measurements at high temperatures (≥250°C) on a group of devices at V- and W-Band. The program will investigate packaging and MMIC mounting processes used at these high frequencies to develop a robust, extremely high temperature manufacturing capability.

The program will span 27 months, from September 2018 to December 2020.

Roland Shaw, president and co-founder of Accel-RF, said, “We anticipate the result of this development and collaboration will significantly improve the capability of manufacturers, system designers and end-users to measure, quantify and improve reliability predictions for wide bandgap devices such as GaN at millimeter wave frequencies.

“The commercial markets that this equipment will support include: automotive short- and long-range radar, automotive vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, Gbps WLAN and 5G mobility short-range communication and numerous industrial sensor networks. The primary goal is to increase confidence levels in long-term reliability for a wide range of semiconductor technologies as quickly as possible.”

“AFRL continues to be a strong advocate for advancing development of state-of-the-art reliability and performance-degradation testing on semiconductor technologies used in cutting-edge system applications. Reliability testing of evolving semiconductor technologies is difficult enough, but reliability testing of a significant sample size of discrete devices or MMICs from DC through millimeter wave frequencies and at controlled channel temperatures for thousands of hours, compounds the problem exponentially.” — Roland Shaw, president and co-founder of Accel-RF