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Wind turbines for high-power producing components and devices

Power Efficiency and Reliability

Accelerating the creation of green, clean renewable, efficient and high-power producing components, and devices.

We live in a changing world where the management of limited energy resources has become more critical. Advances in wide bandgap semiconductor technology like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN), particularly in the context of power semiconductor testing and high power semiconductors, are enabling the development of a clean, renewable, and reliable energy ecosystem while creating new challenges for engineers. Engineers count on Tektronix exists to provide the measurement solutions to address today’s electrified ecosystem challenges and those to come. 

Explore Power Semiconductor Solutions for SiC and GaN for R&D and Validation

Wide bandgap semiconductor materials research

Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Materials Research

WBG materials are at the heart of the continued challenge to improve the performance of SiC and GaN for faster switching speeds, higher power density, high temperature operation, reliability, size, and cost.
4200A-SCS for characterizing wide bandgap semiconductors

Characterizing Wide Bandgap Devices

Precision voltage and current measurements are needed to understand a SiC or GaN device’s fundamental properties and electrical performance.
iv characterization

I-V Characterization

I-V characterization is the process of measuring the current-voltage relationship of electronic devices. It's crucial for device testing and optimization and for developing wide bandgap semiconductors. 
AFG31000 for double pulse testing

Double Pulse Testing

Double pulse testing is the standard method for measuring the switching parameters of MOSFETs or IGBT power devices. Historically this has been a time consuming process to set up the double pulse test since function generators do not have a built-in way to configure and set up the test.
wide bandgap devices

Validating Wide Bandgap Devices

Designing new SiC and GaN devices requires a great deal of testing, both during design and production phases in order to drive process improvements, improve yields, and lower cost. Testing WBG power devices requires better resolution, higher power, and faster speeds compared to traditional silicon.
Validating Power Management ICs

Validating Power Management ICs

Power Management devices are the “Unsung Heroes”, essential components that support safe and proper operations of electronic systems behind the scenes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Power Semiconductor for Engineers

What is a power semiconductor device?

A power semiconductor device is a type of semiconductor device that can handle higher voltages and currents and are used in applications which require significant power control and regulation compared to other types of semiconductor devices you might find in a personal computer, cell phone, tablet, or other battery operated or low voltage consumer or low power industrial device like an electric hand tool. Power semiconductor devices are often categorized as devices that have a related current of 1 amp or greater.

What does a power semiconductor device do?

A power semiconductor is a device that controls the flow of electrical power, regulates power, converts power to various levels, and allows for efficient switching used in many electronic systems like electric vehicles, efficient motor control, photovoltaic power conversion systems, industrial automation, electric grid infrastructure, and energy storage.

What are the new semiconductor materials for power devices?

Emerging semiconductor materials, such as wide bandgap Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN), are revolutionizing power semiconductor technology. SiC and GaN offer superior properties, including higher breakdown voltage, faster switching speeds, lower conduction losses, and better thermal conductivity. These materials enable the development of more efficient and compact power devices, contributing to advancements in renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other high-power applications.

What is an example of a power semiconductor?

The most common devices are the silicon based Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT), the wide bandgap silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET, and the wide bandgap gallium nitride (GaN) High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT). All three transistor devices are widely used in applications such as motor drives, renewable energy systems, and electric vehicles, where high power handling and voltage control are crucial.

What can damage a power semiconductor?

Traditional silicon power semiconductors can be damaged by various factors, including excessive heat, voltage spikes, overcurrent, and improper handling during installation or operation. It is important to follow proper operating conditions and utilize appropriate protection measures to prevent damage to these devices. Newer wide bandgap SiC and GaN power devices are designed to operate at higher temperatures, faster switching speeds and higher voltages, as high as 6.5kV compared to traditional silicon devices.

What is the advantage of a wide bandgap power semiconductor device?

Wide bandgap power semiconductor devices offer several advantages, including much higher efficiency, faster switching speeds, compact size, and improved thermal management. These features enable better power control, reduced energy loss, and enhanced system performance in various applications, leading to increased energy efficiency and overall reliability.