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What is pulsed IV?

RF power amplifier designers depend strongly on current–voltage characteristics of their device. This allows them to determine some of the DUT’s basic performances, and consequently help them model and scale the behavior of their design at given power levels and frequencies. pulsed iv curves
Drain current vs drain-to-source voltage for multiple gate values.

Pulsing the bias is a must for reliable representation of a device’s current and voltage characteristics. By pulsing the voltages applied to the device, we remove most of thermal memory effects which have a huge impact on an RF device’s inherent behavior.

Here is a list of some of the key measurement functions when determining the current–voltage characteristics of a device.

  • DC IV curves
  • Pulsed IV curves
  • Drain to source breakdown voltage (BVds)
  • Gate current (Ig)
  • Transconductance (Gm)

High power characterization and bias networks

As new technologies like GaN HEMTs, LDMOS, SiC, and graphene, require much higher power levels to operate, current and voltage requirements are constantly being pushed higher and higher. Systems can now allow high power electronics characterization, using head pulsars that generate narrow pulses (500ns) at a very high voltage (1200V, 100A, 5000W). The chart below introduces some interchangeable pulser head compatible with the AU4850 Pulsed IV characterization system: ##
The PHD3100 enables low ON-resistance measurement, accurately measuring smaller resistance devices.

High Power, Broadband Bias-Tees

To perform higher power pulsed IV measurements, high performance bias networks are required. Here is a list of only a few requirements for high performance bias networks, used for pulsed IV measurements:

  • Wide bandwidth ranging from 100 MHz to 26.5 GHz
  • Low insertion loss
  • Well-matched input and output
Basic diagram of a bias network.
Basic diagram of a bias network.


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AU4850 Pulsed IV/RF Characterization System
Auriga Multiple-Band High-Power Bias Tees
Auriga PHD3100 Pulser Head Series
Cardiff Model Lite
Harmonic Load Pull
Integrated Pulsed I-V