Power Testing Company Wins Prestigious King’s Award

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD


Guilford-based ipTEST gained the award in recognition of its advancement of test capabilities for high power SiC and GaN semiconductors.


Nick Dajda, Sales and Marketing Director, ipTEST


The recent announcement of the winners of this year’s King’s Awards for Enterprise included one company that is very relevant to the power industry. Guilford-based ipTEST gained the award in recognition of its advancement of test capabilities for high power SiC and GaN semiconductors. The company has been active for decades making high power test products for discrete components, but the introduction of wide-bandgap materials has seen the company and its products become much more successful. Up until three years ago, the company employed between 20 and 40 people, since then, the company’s workforce has expanded to 75 employees, with the vast majority being electronics engineers.


That big change for the company came from the introduction of its DS5 testing generator. Previously, the company had developed general purpose machines that could be used in a variety of testing applications. The DS5 test generator was designed to operate at the high speeds and perform fast dynamic tests, making it ideal for the testing of GaN and SiC technology.


Nick Dajda, Sales and Marketing Director at ipTEST expanded, “The DS5 was very much focused on wide bandgap testing and was designed from the ground up to test fast devices. It performs these tests at production speed and, depending on the handler and how the customer performs testing, we have seen some of our systems doing between 5,000 and 15,000 tests per hour and making very quick decisions on components”.


In practice, that can mean each component being through multiple separate tests to ensure they are fit for purpose. Those tests include high-voltage, low-voltage, dynamic switching, gate resistance-capacitance, as well as individual tests performed at different stages of the manufacturing process, for example on dies, packaged components or modules. The ipTEST products are modular, allowing customers to build a system that suits their own requirements, and reconfigure it when the need arises.

The modular design of the products also allows ipTEST to keep up with technology changes. The company often get different tests being requested and the modular nature of the equipment allows it to add different tests later. For example, some customers are looking for higher temperature capabilities for products intended for automotive applications. Dynamic Rdson is another area that is in demand for GaN device manufacturers especially, as events in the manufacturing process can hinder how quickly and efficiently the device can switch. High speed electrical testing is a powerful method for detecting manufacturing defects in the final product.



To accurately perform these high speed tests, ipTEST has designed its tester to get closer to the device under test. Dajda explained, “The conventional way to test is using a robotic handler that moves the components around. That usually requires 20 to 30 cm of cable between the generator and the device being tested. That cable length is enough to introduce sufficient parasitic inductance into the test to make it difficult to perform tests at high speed. In the DS5 tester, we designed the test head into the handler itself using a special interface, with PCBs integrated into the customer's handler. That allowed us to take measurements at the device itself, giving very accurate measurements at the highest speeds”.



The King’s Awards for Enterprise was previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, which was intended to recognise outstanding UK businesses. The Award programme, now in its 57th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.