III-V HBT Reliability

Commercial products for handset and infrastructure applications have very stringent reliability and ruggedness requirements set by the phone manufacturers. These requirements typically require more information than the standard wear-out safe operating lifetime provided by either an internal or external III-V HBT foundry. This presentation will discuss the wear-out safe operating lifetime and the ramifications it has on ballast resistor selection and the thermal performance of the circuit design. Besides the HBT device technology limitations, the multi-chip module package and die-to-substrate interconnect technologies place additional limitations that must be characterized and addressed in a design. This talk will also highlight some of the differences in ruggedness requirements for WLAN (infrastructure) and mobile handset applications that are related to the RF swings associated with these applications. Finally, there will be some discussion of the implications of mm-wave reliability and ruggedness testing for product release.