Analog Fault Simulation Challenges And Solutions


The test time for digital circuit blocks in ICs has greatly decreased in the last 20 years, thanks to scan-based design-for-test (DFT), automatic test pattern generation (ATPG) tools, and scan compression. These technologies have greatly reduced the number of test vectors applied by automatic test equipment (ATE) while maximizing the coverage of a wide range of defect types. But for analog c... » read more

A New Approach For IC Test


Since its inception, a founding principle of the semiconductor industry has been to continually improve performance while driving down cost. In other words, offer more for the money. However, amid greater device complexity, shorter product cycles, and relentless cost pressure, the test portion represents an increasing percentage of the total IC cost and a significant part of the product develop... » read more

ATE: The Road Ahead


Watching the ATE market is like having a front-row seat to watch the semiconductor industry's ups and downs, with none of the hype to confuse you. So 2014 was a very good market for SoC test, and it likewise a good year for SoCs. As we head into the latter half of this year and into 2016, however, a projected downturn in the mobile arena will likely put a crimp in those earnings. The prob... » read more

Fab Tool R&D And Ramen Noodles


The semiconductor equipment and materials industry has always been a tough business. Over the years, vendors have been under pressure to develop new technologies for a shrinking but demanding customer base. And as a result, many vendors could not keep up, or elected to exit the business, causing a massive shakeout in the industry. It isn’t getting any easier, though. Today, tool and... » read more

How To Test IoT Devices


At a recent event, test experts said the IC industry needs a new paradigm in testing chips for the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"] (IoT). The message was fairly simple to interpret. Existing automatic test equipment (ATE) is well suited to test today’s digital, analog, and mixed-signal chips, though it may be ill-equipped or too expensive to test IoT-based devices. But wha... » read more

ATE Market Gets More Crowded


Over the years, the automatic test equipment (ATE) industry has undergone a dramatic shakeout. In fact, the ATE industry has shrunk from about a dozen major vendors several years ago to just three sizable companies today. There is also a smattering of smaller ATE players in the market. In other words, the big ATE vendors became bigger and the mid-sized players were gobbled up. The consol... » read more

Five Disruptive Test Technologies


For years, test has been a critical part of the IC manufacturing flow. Chipmakers, OSATs and the test houses buy the latest testers and design-for-test (DFT) software tools in the market and for good reason. A plethora of unwanted field returns is not acceptable in today’s market. The next wave of complex chips may require more test coverage and test times. That could translate into higher... » read more

Test Challenges Grow


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss current and future test challenges with Dave Armstrong, director of business development at Advantest; Steve Pateras, product marketing director for Silicon Test Solutions at Mentor Graphics; Robert Ruiz, senior product marketing manager at Synopsys; Mike Slessor, president of FormFactor; and Dan Glotter, chief executive of Optimal+. SE: In our ... » read more

How Much Testing Is Enough?


As chipmakers move towards finer geometries, IC designs are obviously becoming more complex and expensive. Given the enormous risks involved, chipmakers must ensure the quality of the parts before they go out the door. And as part of quality assurance process, that requires a sound test strategy. But for years, IC makers have faced the same dilemma. On one hand, they want a stringent test me... » read more

Test Challenges Grow


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss current and future test challenges with Dave Armstrong, director of business development at Advantest; Steve Pateras, product marketing director for Silicon Test Solutions at Mentor Graphics; Robert Ruiz, senior product marketing manager at Synopsys; Mike Slessor, president of FormFactor; and Dan Glotter, chief executive of Optimal+. SE: What are... » read more

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