Microwave Journal

High-Power Production Test for Base Station Power Transistors

June 14, 2021

Sub-6 GHz base station power amplifiers (PAs) use one of two competing technologies: Si LDMOS or GaN. As the frequency and power efficiency requirements for 5G push LDMOS technology to its limits, GaN is slated to surpass LDMOS as the dominant choice for future base station PAs. The higher power density, better operating efficiency, smaller size, faster switching speed and higher frequency coverage will make GaN the preferred PA technology for sub-6 GHz 5G.

GaN’s capability and performance improvements bring new characterization and test requirements to ensure specification compliance and reliability. To meet these requirements, Roos Instruments has added the RI8589 High Power Supply/Pulser to its modular Cassini ATE platform. Designed for LDMOS and GaN testing, the RI8589 is an all-in-one solution for power device characterization. It provides multiple high voltage supplies from -60 to +180 V, a pulsed supply capable of delivering 1 kW with microsecond measurement capability and precision microamp current measurement. Other features of the RI8589 include dynamic on-resistance (Rdson) and pulse profile measurements, temperature characterization, switching between high voltage and high current measurements without re-cabling and built-in safety interlocks.

The RI8589 High Power Supply/Pulser is an add-on test capability to the modular Cassini ATE platform, enabling users to customize ATE measurements to specific device needs, with the capability to adapt to future requirements. Combined with high-power microwave instruments and configurable device interfacing, Cassini ATE is an all-in-one solution for power device characterization and production test.

Roos Instruments, Inc.
Santa Clara, Calif.