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ITRI Introduces Technology to Reduce LED Thermal Testing Time

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI ), Taiwan’s largest high-tech research and development institutions, has introduced the In-Line Compact Thermal Analyzer (ICTA) Technology. ICTA offers a measurement speed of 12,000 LEDs per hour, reducing each LED’s component thermal resistance testing time to 0.3 seconds. This is 2,000 times faster than the traditional lab method where only six components can be measured per hour.

Thermal performance has always been the primary factor impacting the life and light quality of LEDs. ICTA Technology is the most powerful, cost efficient and high performance thermal analyzer when compared to other LED thermal testers available today, greatly reducing the defect ratio of LED illumination products. While decreasing LED testing time, ICTA improves production yield, performance and lifespan of LED devices such as LED bulbs, mobile phones, TV, laptop display backlight, etc. This innovative technology has a high-speed temperature sensitive parameter (TSP) measurement technique that could reduce LED testing time by more than 90 percent, thereby improving the efficiency of thermal structure analysis. These attributes lead to more reliable LED devices for end-users. In power semiconductor devices, ICTA can be used to solve thermal-induced stress, enabling innovative package design and material property identification or facilitating lifespan estimation.

“Up-to-now, measuring LED thermal resistance has been complex, time-consuming and could only take place in the laboratory at the product design stage,” said James, Mu Tao Chu, division director of the opto-electronics device and system applications division at ITRI. “With ICTA, manufacturers can now screen defective products on the production lines in real-time, optimizing production processes, increasing efficiencies to significantly lower LED lighting defect rates. This technology ensures, creating higher quality and more stable LED lighting products, for the delivery of best quality products to end-users, and finally, wider adoption of LED technology worldwide.”

ICTA is the most efficient thermal analyzer, offering the critical thermal characteristics such as junction temperature and thermal resistance for semiconductor devices, including LEDs, High-Electron-Mobility Transistor (HEMT), Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor Field-effect Transistor (MOSFET), and Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT).

ITRI has given the first technology transfer and patent licensing contract to leading global manufacturer MPI Corporation. The company is engaged in technology cooperation that has yielded the world’s first transient thermal structure and in-line thermal resistance analyzer. This equipment is expected to get into the mass production stage by the end of 2014, which will both satisfy R&D and production authentication requirements.

“Future LED illumination applications will require greater power needs in packaging, meaning that thermal resistance will become increasingly important. Since heat impacts the life and quality of a product, accurate measurement of LED thermal resistance will have a clear impact on product quality and cost,” said Anderson Fan, vice general manager of equipment operation division at MPI Corporation. “This cooperation with ITRI has successfully brought thermal resistance measurement technology out of the laboratory and to automated machinery. In the future, thermal resistance will be able to be measured in an automated process on the production line, significantly boosting the quality of LED products.”

According to the US Department of Energy, widely adopting LED lighting could save the country $265 billion and reduce electricity demand by one third in the next 20 years.1

Commercialization of ICTA Technology is currently underway. The technology is available for transfer to companies worldwide. ITRI holds seven international patents on ICTA Technology including in Taiwan, China, and the U.S. Companies interested in licensing ICTA Technology should contact ITRI at 415 986 7212 or ITRI@graham-associates.com for more information.

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