Test Connections

The need to do more with less is a constant challenge for the semiconductor test market. Manufacturers of semiconductor devices must manage their costs — including the cost of test. Controlling costs becomes even more challenging as the average sale price of components trends lower year by year — requiring test engineers to continually look for better and more cost-effective test methods.

To meet these challenges, test engineers are turning to commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware — specifically, the PXI architecture. Geotest recently introduced the TS-900, a PXI-based, semiconductor test system with an integral, high-performance receiver interface. The basic system, which is based on the Geotest 20-slot GX7305 chassis and utilizes Geotest's market-leading GX5295 100 MHz digital instrument, features a PMU per pin architecture and per pin programmability — providing high-performance digital and mixed-signal test capabilities.

All the features at a lower cost
The TS-900 base system is a fully integrated test platform that offers comparable system features and capabilities found in proprietary ATE systems. Available as a benchtop (Figure 1) or cart-based model (Figure 2), the TS-900 takes full advantage of the PXI architecture to achieve a cost-effective and full-featured test solution.

TS-900 Test System                     Cart-based model

     Figure 1: TS-900 Test System                                 Figure 2: Cart-based model

As Figure 3 shows, the test system incorporates a custom-designed performance test interface that supports the use of PCB Device Under Test (DUT) boards — a proven and high-performance method for interfacing to the device under test.

Additionally, the receiver interface's pin blocks are field configurable, allowing users to upgrade the receiver when they modify or upgrade the configuration of the PXI system. The configuration of the receiver can support up to 512 digital channels, as well as a range of analog, power supply and RF resources.

TS-900 Receiver Interface
Figure 3: TS-900 Receiver Interface

Full featured and expandable
The basic TS-900 system includes:
20-slot, high-power PXI chassis with integral receiver interface
Embedded Core 2 Duo controller
64 100 MHz digital channels with per pin PMU (expandable to 512)
64 static digital channels (expandable to 128), which can be used for fixture ID, UUT static control or DUT board relay control
0 — 40 volt user power supply (expandable to 4 channels)
System self-test fixture and test program, which provides functional verification of the system
ATEasy test executive and programming environment
DIOEasy digital waveform editing and display tool

The basic system leaves lots of room for expansion — 14 additional PXI slots are available for adding more digital or analog test resources as needed. In addition, Geotest offers software tools for converting STIL and WGL test vectors to Geotest's digital vector format.

The TS-900 combines some of the key features associated with "big iron" ATE with the benefits of the PXI modular architecture. The result is a test system that provides outstanding value and features for test engineers looking for cost-effective solutions to support design verification, failure analysis, pilot runs or focused production test.

To learn more about the TS-900, contact us or please visit us at Booth #6075 at Semicon West, where we will have a TS-900 on display.

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Geotest-Marvin Test Systems, Inc.
1770 Kettering
Irvine, CA 92614

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