A semiconductor curve tracer is a specialized test equipment which analyzes the physiognomies of separate semiconductor devices such as transistors, thyristors, and diodes. The device is fashioned on the basis of an oscilloscope. It has voltage as well as current sources that are used to fuel the DUT or device under test.
The function of this device is to apply a swept voltage (varying with time) to two ends of the DUT, and calculating the total current that the device allows to flow at each of the applied voltages. The graph thus formed is known as the V-I graph or voltage current graph. Pattern represents the maximum voltage that is applied, the polarization of the voltage (both positive and negative), and the resistance applied in series along with the device.
In case of devices the two terminal devices including DIACs and diodes, this process can characterize the device fully. The semiconductor curve tracer can show all the parameters including diode’s reverse leakage current, reverse breakdown voltage, forward voltage, among others. For other devices (DIACs), the reverse and forward trigger voltages are clearly displayed. This method is used to find damaged pins on IC devices.
Evaluation and testing of semiconductor components have become mandatory processes in the semiconductor industry. Components are a part of a complex electronic equipment and hence play a vital role in inducing the dependability of the end product.
Consistency of semiconductors, especially in micro- and macro-electronic devices is vital and presently there is a rising focus on decreasing the defects resulting from engineering deviations and prolonging the lifespan of the components used.
With electronics getting advanced by the year, testing of semiconductors is developing into a multifaceted task generating the need for smarter, faster and mechanized testing solutions. Cutting-edge semiconductor tools such as application dependent high density printed circuit boards (PCS) coupled with advanced chip functionality and board designs requires curve tracers. These factors will drive the overall semiconductor curve tracer market in the coming years.
Some of the semiconductor curve tracers, especially those which are designed for high current or power or voltage devices, are capable of producing hazardous currents and voltages thereby posing an electrocution hazard.
However, advanced curve tracers usually contain mechanical interlocks and shields that make it difficult to come into connection with lethal currents or voltages. This will further encourage the growth of the overall semiconductor curve tracer market.
The global semiconductor curve tracer market can be segmented by DUT type, application, and by geography. On the basis of DUT type the market can be divided into two terminal devices and three terminal devices. The two terminal devices segment held a significant market share in the global market owing to their extensive applications in the semiconductor devices.
By application, the global semiconductor curve tracer market may be segmented into communication, consumer electronics, computing and networking, industrial, and others. The consumer electronics segment is likely to dominate the global market during the forecast period. Longevity as well as extended warranties demanded by the consumers has made curve tracing a vital phenomenon in the consumer electronics market.
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By geography, the global semiconductor curve tracer market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. North America held the leading share of the market followed by Asia Pacific. The U.S. is likely to account for the major share of the market owing to the presence of large number of corporations as well as better availability of advanced technologies.
Some of the major players operating in the global semiconductor curve tracer market are Scientific Test, Inc., Tektronix, Inc., Koyo Electronics Industries Co., Ltd, Barth Electronics, Inc., Nihon Denji Sokki Co, Ltd., Mittal Enterprises, Ed Corporation, and Industrial Vision Technology among others.
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