Solution Spotlight: Advanced Digital Testing Using PXI Instrumentation

Knowledge Base Article # Q200289

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Summary This article demonstrates the advantages of the flexible, scalable PXI platform's open architecture hardware and software for semiconductor test.

Solution Spotlight: Advanced Digital Testing Using PXI Instrumentation

From Test Connections Newsletter - March 2016

Device Under Test

The target device was a WiFi IC, with 802.11n and Bluetooth capabilities. Upon reviewing the target IC specifications, a set of resource requirements to test the IC were identified and matched to instruments available in the PXI form-factor. The Device Under Test (DUT) required four power supplies, and the power supplies had to be sequenced in a specific order when powering up the DUT. Further, while the IDD for the DUT was very low, when the DUT was initialized, the inrush current could exceed 1A on one of the supplies. The power requirement mandated that programmable power supplies be used, and that the 1A of in-rush current be accommodated.

On initial power-up, the DUT is in a low-power idle state whereby communication is possible. There are two communication ports on the DUT: a JTAG port and a Scan port. The JTAG port is used to configure and initialize the DUT, and perform an initial structural test of the IO. The Scan port is used to configure the DUT for operation and complete the structural IO test. Additional functional tests are also implemented using the Scan port to control the DUT.  

Since the DUT was already being tested on an UltraFlex system, the DUT had a proven set of test patterns that were available for reuse with the PXI system. Marvin Test Solutions’ file conversion tools were available to convert the ATP files to hardware specific patterns, with the digital test instrumentation meeting the speed, channel density, pattern depth, and timing capabilities required to accurately represent the ATP pattern file parameters.

Test System

A means to interface to the DUT was required in order to substitute for the IC handler associated with the UltraFlex system. Dedicated DUT boards were designed and cabled to the instrumentation for the demonstration system. The DUT board design was modularized to accommodate easy expansion of the number of test sites and demonstrate multi-site test capabilities.

Test System


Figure 1: Test System


The system design as shown consisted of a GX7100B PXI 3U/6U Combo Smart Chassis. A combination of 3U and 6U PXI slots was required to accommodate the two GX7400A programmable power supplies.  Each GX7400A provides two 150W programmable power supplies in three 6U slots.


Four GX5296 PXI modules were chosen as the digital test instruments for the DUT.  The GX5296 provides 32 IO channels per card with full PMU per channel capabilities, 64M pattern depth, 125 MHz clock rates, 1nS edge timing resolution, timing per pin,  and real-time compare of DUT response data.

Using MTS’ GtDio6x-FIT file translation tools, the digital test patterns were translated from the UltraFlex ATP pattern files, and formatted so that the patterns for each DUT would reside on two GX5296 instruments. Expanding the capabilities from testing one DUT to two DUT’s was simply a matter of adding a second set of GX5296 instruments, and cabling from those modules to a second DUT test board.

The software to control loading the translated ATP test patterns, running the analog contact tests, executing the test patterns and reporting test results to the operator was written using the ATEasy® development environment, and the test execution was controlled using the integrated Test Executive GUI.  Demonstrations were also written using LabVIEW and TestStand to show the overall versatility of using open architecture hardware and software tools for semiconductor test applications.
GX5296

Figure 2: GX5296

To learn more about PXI - Based Semiconductor Test Systems: Advanced Test Capabilities and Features, download our white paper.

Article Date 5/6/2016 9:11:16 AM     Updated: 5/6/2016 9:17:38 AM
Keywords digital, PXI, GX5296, GX7100B, GX7400A, semiconductor

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