Accel-RF Wins AFRL Contract to Complete an mm-Wave Accelerated Life Test System

Accel-RF has received a follow-on contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Under the phase II SBIR program, Accel-RF will continue development efforts for millimeter-wave accelerated life test systems. The duration of the program is 27 months, from September 2018 - December 2020. The object of the Phase II effort is to demonstrate a system platform capable of performing end-of-life (EOL) reliability analysis on multiple individual test devices at V and W-band frequencies.

Under the new contract, Accel-RF, a world leader in supplying equipment for performing high temperature, long duration reliability testing on compound semiconductors, such as Gallium-Nitride (GaN) and Silicon-Carbide (SiC), will develop, design, and produce a test system breadboard capable of performing Arrhenius-type reliability prediction measurements at high temperatures (≥250⁰C) on a group of devices at V-band and W-band. The Phase II work will also investigate packaging and MMIC mounting processes used at these high frequencies in order to develop a robust, extremely high temperature manufacturing capability.

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.

Accel-RF is looking to significantly improve the capability of manufacturers, system designers, and end-users to measure, quantify, and improve reliability predictions for Wide Band-Gap devices such as Gallium-Nitride (GaN) at millimeter-wave frequencies. The commercial markets that this equipment can 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, according to the company, is to increase confidence levels in long-term reliability for a wide range of semiconductor technologies as quickly as possible.