Aehr Receives $19.4 Million Order for Test and Burn in Systems from Major Automotive Semiconductor Supplier

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Aehr Test Systems, a worldwide supplier of semiconductor test and reliability qualification equipment, has announced it has received a $19.4 million order from its lead silicon carbide test and burn-in customer for multiple FOX-XP systems to meet their increased production capacity needs.

This customer is a leading Fortune 500 supplier of semiconductor devices with a significant customer base in the automotive semiconductor market and is using the FOX-XP systems for test and burn-in of silicon carbide devices for electric vehicles. The corresponding Aehr proprietary WaferPak Contactors for these systems, which are used to make contact with every device on each of 18 wafers in parallel per system, will be purchased in follow-on orders from this customer. These systems are scheduled to be delivered over the next nine months.

Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented, “We continue to work closely with this customer to achieve their test requirements and are excited to receive this order for multiple systems, which exceeds the total number of systems this customer has purchased from us to date. These additional systems are to meet the capacity needs of silicon carbide devices used for power conversion components in on-board and off-board electric vehicle chargers as well as the inverters used in electric vehicle motor controllers. This customer also expects silicon carbide capacity in other major markets, including home electric storage and solar power conversion, and we look forward to meeting their demand over the next several years and into the future.”

Aehr Test is currently ramping their FOX Wafer Level Test and Burn-in Systems and WaferPak Contactors to meet the silicon carbide market opportunity that they believe is only just beginning. Silicon carbide power semiconductors have emerged as the preferred technology for battery electric vehicle power conversion in on-board and off-board electric vehicle battery chargers, and the electric power conversion and control of the electric engines. These devices reduce power loss by as much as > 75% over power silicon alternatives like IGBT (Insulated-gate bipolar transistor) devices, which has essentially changed the entire market dynamic. The challenge with silicon carbide is that it is known to have high infant mortality rates. However, with the reliability burn-in and screening that Aehr is able to offer with their FOX product solutions, these defects can be removed to provide extremely reliable devices for these mission-critical applications.

Aehr’s FOX-XP solution allows for one of the key reliability screening tests to be completed on an entire wafer full of devices, testing all of them at one time while also testing and monitoring every device for failures during the burn-in process to provide critical information on those devices. This is an enormously valuable capability, as it allows their customers to screen devices that would otherwise fail after they are packaged into multi-die modules, where the yield impact is 10 times or even 100 times as costly. Aehr’s FOX-P family of products are very cost-effective solutions for ensuring the critical quality and reliability of devices in this market, where performance and reliability can not only mean increased battery life but also whether you have to walk home from a vehicle whose power semiconductor fails in the power train.

“As we’ve noted before, Aehr’s proprietary test and burn-in solutions include customized WaferPaks and DiePaks that are needed not only for new systems orders but also for each new device design or new device added to production test. As we increase our installed base of FOX systems with current and new customers, particularly with our FOX-NPTM and FOX-XP multi-wafer and singulated die/module test and burn-in systems, we expect our consumables business will continue to grow in absolute value and as a percentage of our total sales. Over the long term, we expect to see a steady rate of more than 50 percent of our total annual revenue coming from these consumables”, added Gayn.

The power semiconductor market for electric vehicles is expected to triple between 2020 and 2026, growing at a nearly 26% CAGR to $5.6 billion, according to Yole research. And a report from Deloitte forecasts total electric vehicle sales will grow at a CAGR of 29% from 2020 to 2025, before reaching 31.1 million by 2030 and securing approximately 32% of the total market share for new car sales. Market research firm Exawatt (exa-watt.com) estimates that the total market for silicon carbide wafers for power semiconductors for electric vehicles in 2021 will be 133,000 150mm equivalent wafers and the total market will exceed 1.23 million 150 mm equivalent wafers in 2030. These forecasts highlight the tremendous opportunity Aehr Test has in front of it with its wafer level test and burn-in solution for electric vehicle semiconductors.

The FOX-XP system, available with multiple WaferPak Contactors (full wafer test) or multiple DiePakTM Carriers (singulated die/module test) configurations, is capable of functional test and burn-in/cycling of integrated devices such as silicon carbide power devices, silicon photonics as well as other optical devices, 2D and 3D sensors, flash memories, Gallium Nitride (GaN), 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.