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5G Chips Add Test Challenges


The advent of chips supporting millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G signals is creating a new set of design and testing challenges. Effects that could be ignored at lower frequencies are now important. Performing high-volume test of RF chips will require much more from automated test equipment (ATE) than is required for chips operating below 6 GHz. “MmWave design is a pretty old thing,” said Y... » read more

Cleaning Up During IC Test


Test is a dirty business. It can contaminate a unit or wafer, or the test hardware, which in turn can cause problems in the field. While this has not gone unnoticed, particularly as costs rise due to increasing pin and ball density, and as more chips are bundled together in a package, the cost of dirt continues to be a focus. Cleaning recipes for test interface boards are changing, and analy... » read more

Development Of High Voltage General-Purpose Pin-Electronics


Currently, there is a demand in Automated Test Equipment (ATE) to test both high-speed/low-voltage amplitude devices manufactured in advanced processes and low-speed / high-voltage amplitude devices manufactured in legacy processes by a pin-electronics equipment. However, it is difficult to achieve both the operating speed over than 1Gbps and the wide I/O range over than 10Vpp, due to the trade... » read more

Digging Much Deeper With Unit Retest


Keeping test costs flat in the face of product complexity continues to challenge both product and test engineers. Increased data collection at package-level test and the ability to respond to it in a never-before level of detail has prompted device makers and assembly and test houses to tighten up their retest processes. Test metrology, socket contamination, and mechanical alignment have alw... » read more

Managing Wafer Retest


Every wafer test touch-down requires a balance between a good electrical contact and preventing damage to the wafer and probe card. Done wrong, it can ruin a wafer and the customized probe card and result in poor yield, as well as failures in the field. Achieving this balance requires good wafer probing process procedures as well as monitoring of the resulting process parameters, much of it ... » read more

Testing AiP Modules In High-Volume Production


Far-field and radiating near-field are two options for high-volume over-the-air (OTA) testing of antenna-in-package (AiP) modules with automated test equipment (ATE) [1]. In this article, we define an AiP device under test (DUT) and examine the measurement results from both methods. Creating an AiP evaluation vehicle Proper evaluation of an ATE OTA measurement setup requires an AiP module. Us... » read more

Testing Analog Circuits Becoming More Difficult


Foundries and packaging houses are wrestling how to control heat in the testing phase, particularly as devices continue to shrink and as thermally sensitive analog circuits are added into SoCs and advanced packages to support everything from RF to AI. The overriding problem is that heat can damage chips or devices under test. That's certainly true for digital chips developed at advanced node... » read more

Chasing Test Escapes In IC Manufacturing


The number of bad chips that slip through testing and end up in the field can be significantly reduced before those devices ever leave the fab, but the cost of developing the necessary tests and analyzing the data has sharply limited adoption. Determining an acceptable test escape metric for an IC is essential to improving the yield-to-quality ratio in chip manufacturing, but what exactly is... » read more

ATE In The Age Of Convergence And Exascale Computing


We are currently in the midst of the age of convergence – that is, the convergence of data from a range of applications and data sources. These sources constitute anything that creates data – ranging from human-created data, such as voice and video, through automotive, mobile, and wireless/IoT devices. This also includes edge computing and servers storing the massive amounts of data needed ... » read more

Metrology at Automated Test Equipment Manufacturers


New technologies require an efficient qualification infrastructure to determine and qualify technical specifications. Metrology is the science which determines the acknowledged specification setting process based on proven international standards. This paper describes metrology and its role and benefits in automated test equipment business. By Piotr Skwierawski and Ralf Haefner. Click her... » read more

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