Digital IC Bring-Up With A Bench-Top Environment


One of the hottest markets for IC today is artificial intelligence (AI). The designs for AI chips are also among the largest and most complex, with billions of transistors, thousands of memory instances, and complex design-for-test (DFT) implementations with unique bring up and debug requirements. At this point, the volume of new AI chips is relatively low, but time-to-market is of paramount im... » read more

What’s in a Name?


Test Vision 2020 is a specialty workshop held each year during Semicon West. Formerly known as ATE Vision 2020, the program focuses on automatic test equipment and related topics. This year’s edition heard a lot about artificial intelligence, automotive electronics, and machine learning, which have been the leading topics at every tech conference I’ve attended in 2018. The workshop’s t... » read more

Accelerating Test Pattern Bring-Up For Rapid First Silicon Debug


Reducing the time spent on silicon bring-up is critical in getting ICs into the hands of customers and staying competitive. Typically, the silicon bring-up process involves converting the test patterns to a tester-specific format and generating a test program that is executed by Automatic Test Equipment (ATE). This standard silicon bring-up flow is becoming too slow and expensive, especially fo... » read more

NIWeek Test Talk


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with David Hall, Chief Marketer, Semiconductor, of National Instruments, and Mike Watts, NI’s Senior Solutions Marketer, Semiconductor Test, during NIWeek 2018 in Austin, Texas. “One of the opportunities for National Instruments is that over the last 10 years, we’ve seen larger semiconductor organizations change the way they do testing both for R&... » read more

The Best in Test


“The 10 Best Semiconductor Equipment Supplier Rankings for 2018” was recently released by VLSI Research. Teradyne and Advantest placed first and second, respectively, in the large-company rankings, each rating five stars, based on evaluations by customers. Xcerra placed fifth in the focused-company rankings, with four-and-a-half stars. The market research firm also ranked the top vendors... » read more

Xcerra: Back to the Drawing Board


It’s been nearly two weeks since Xcerra and Hubei Xinyan Equity Investment Partnership announced they have terminated their merger agreement in the face of apparent opposition by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the federal interagency panel that reviews transactions for their impacts on national security. Xcerra and Hubei Xinyan also withdrew their CFIUS application.... » read more

ATE Tailwind For 2018?


The automatic test equipment market enjoyed a record sales year during 2017, and there are indications that the good times will continue this year. Forecasters are predicting another robust year for sales of DRAMs and NAND flash memory devices, especially 3D NAND. That will drive demand for memory test equipment to keep up. Frost & Sullivan predicts semiconductor test equipment will h... » read more

Testing Analog Chips


The world of analog components is broad and diverse, and while testing analog chips may not take as long as running tests on complex SoCs, there are different requirements for analog devices. One type of chip that's seeing more application these days is analog microelectromechanical system devices. Automotive electronics call for a number of [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] chips, along with... » read more

2017 ITC Wrap-up


Advantest was among the exhibitors and corporate sponsors at last week’s 2017 International Test Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The automatic test equipment company also presented papers, took part in sessions, and provided posters during ITC’s technical program. In the booth, Advantest demonstrated its on-demand CloudTesting Service. It also showed off its EVA100 analog/mixed-signal IC t... » read more

Whither Xcerra?


Trade tensions between the People’s Republic of China and the Trump Administration could sink a big transaction in the automatic test equipment business. Xcerra, a supplier of semiconductor test systems, board testers, and electronic interconnects, announced in April that it had accepted an offer from Unic Capital Management, an affiliate of Sino IC Capital, to acquire the company for $10.... » read more

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