Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ: AEHR), a worldwide supplier of semiconductor production test and reliability qualification equipment, today announced it has received an initial production order from its new major silicon carbide semiconductor supplier customer for a FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in system configured with Aehr’s new fully integrated and automated WaferPak Aligner. The FOX-XP system is configured with Bipolar Voltage Channel Module (BVCM) and Very High Voltage Channel Module (VHVCM) options which enable new advanced test and burn-in capabilities for silicon carbide power semiconductors using Aehr’s proprietary WaferPak full wafer Contactors. This customer serves several significant markets including the electric vehicle industry as well as other industrial applications.
This production system order is a follow-on to an order announced last quarter for a FOX-NP system that has already been installed at the customer’s site. Shipments of the FOX-XP system with the new integrated and automated WaferPak Aligner are expected to begin in Aehr’s fiscal fourth quarter that begins March 1, 2023.
Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented, “We are very excited that this customer has confirmed their commitment to Aehr with their selection of our FOX platform for production test and burn-in of their silicon carbide wafers. They have told us, and we believe they will order a significant number of FOX-XP systems for volume production of their silicon carbide devices at facilities around the world to meet the exploding forecasted market demand for silicon carbide devices for electric vehicles and other industrial markets.
“In addition to the cost-effectiveness and scalability of our system, this customer has told us and expressed publicly how important automation is to them across their wafer fabrication and assembly and test, and that our fully integrated FOX-XP with automated WaferPak alignment and handling is key to meeting their automation needs that are critical to their scalability, as well as the quality and reliability goals of the customers and markets they serve. We are very excited and delighted that this customer will be our lead customer for high volume using our new FOX-XP wafer level test and burn-in system with our new fully automated and integrated WaferPak alignment and material handling system.
“The FOX-XP with integrated WaferPak Aligner uses our proprietary WaferPak full wafer contactors and supports 100mm, 150mm, 200mm, and 300mm wafers sizes using industry standard wafer cassettes and FOUPs (Front Opening Unified Pods). This allows customers to easily support multiple wafer sizes which is critical to the silicon carbide market where a high mix of wafer sizes is expected in high volume production over the next several years. This new configuration allows our customers to move and align the wafers automatically into our proprietary WaferPaks and place the WaferPaks into and out of our multi-wafer FOX-XP systems that test and burn-in up to 18 wafers at a time.
“The FOX-XP configured with the integrated and automated WaferPak Aligner has a number of additional very valuable features for automation of the test floor. These include unattended changeovers from one product to the next, and the ability to run multiple different product type wafers in parallel. In addition, 100% tracking and traceability of wafers and logging individual die test results has become key to companies serving mission critical applications and markets such as the electric vehicle engine inverters and their on-board and off-board chargers that are driving the explosive demand for silicon carbide devices.
“Forecasts from Canaccord Genuity estimate that the silicon carbide market for devices in electric vehicles, such as traction inverters and on-board chargers, is expected to grow from fewer than 150,000 wafers in 2021 to more than four million 6-inch equivalent wafers in 2030 to meet the demand of the automotive electric vehicle market, representing a growth rate of over 25 times the current wafer capacity just for the in-vehicle devices. Canaccord also estimates that the silicon carbide market will require an additional four million silicon carbide wafers annually by 2030 to meet demand for electrification infrastructure, industrial and photovoltaic power devices.
“The FOX family of compatible systems including the FOX-NP and FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in systems and Aehr’s proprietary WaferPak full wafer contactors provide a uniquely cost-effective solution for burning in multiple wafers of devices at a single time to remove early life failures of silicon carbide devices, which is critical to meeting the initial quality and long-term reliability the automotive, industrial, and electrification infrastructure industry needs. The FOX-XP system can be configured with up to nine or 18 wafers depending on the customer’s specific test requirements and power configuration and is fully compatible with Aehr’s FOX-NP system, which is a two-wafer system that is a great fit for new production introduction and qualification.”
The FOX-XP and FOX-NP systems, available with multiple WaferPak Contactors (full wafer test) or multiple DiePak™ Carriers (singulated die/module test) configurations, are capable of functional test and burn-in/cycling of devices such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride power semiconductors, silicon photonics as well as other optical devices, 2D and 3D sensors, flash memories, magnetic sensors, microcontrollers, and other leading-edge ICs in either wafer form factor, before they are assembled into single or multi-die stacked packages, or in singulated die or module form factor.