To address the challenges described in the prior post [click here to read], Xcerra’s tester group has successfully developed an unconventional CMOS-based low power SerDes test instrument that has 32 transmit and 24 receive channels respectively for the Diamondx and DxV tester platform. The HSI1x instrument has been designed for both laboratory usage and high volume production needs. This accomplishment was made possible by leveraging Xcerra’s decades of experience in designing low-power, high density, air-cooled ATE instrumentation, along with cutting edge SerDes technology and an innovative proprietary interconnect design. Built upon an inherently source-synchronous architecture, while maintaining complete coherence to the host ATE system, the HSI1x achieves the best balance between ATE flexibility and bench-instrument focused performance.
blog posts related to semiconductor test
The data throughput of modern mobile, consumer and automotive SoC devices has soared as high definition video content has become the norm and 5G wireless connectivity has become a reality. To meet these demands, the latest applications, media and virtual reality processors routinely contain multiple heterogeneous high performance SerDes (Serializer/Deserializer) ports, which must be tested at speed to meet the stringent quality standards of top-tier end customers. The benefits of SerDes ports over parallel busses are numerous, such as lower power consumption, lower EMI, improved immunity to transmission medium variability, and more efficient usage of PCB area and connector pins. With sophisticated equalization and error correction schemes, modern SerDes interfaces can achieve incredible chip-to-chip or board-to-board bandwidth on standard PCB material. Read more
“There is a lot of development in op amps,” said Christopher Lemoine, product marketing director in Xcerra’s ATE group in an interview with Semiconductor Engineering. “There are always higher-performance op amps, lower bias currents, getting closer to the rails, you now have zero-headroom op amps where you can operate right down to the ground rail. At the same time, a lot of the performance hasn’t changed a whole lot.”
Collision avoidance radar devices generate bursts of RF energy called ‘Chirps’. Which are transmitted (TX) to be reflected and ultimately received (RX). A Chirp is a sinusoid that increases its frequency linearly. The linearly changing frequency of each chirp can be used to extract vector speed information about the target. EBand Radar devices produce chirps over a bandwidth of 1GHz and, as in this example, near 76GHz.
Semiconductor front end automation took place decades ago. The sensitivity of the front end process was requiring it and the always equal form factor of the wafers was supporting it nicely with a standardized transport media, the FOUP (front opening universal pod). It provided a standardized interface for all material handling and processing equipment and the wafer handling is, in general, very reliable and jam free. Automation companies were therefore able to address all technical requirements of the flexible automated material handling between standalone equipment in the fab.
Today the semiconductor test market is very competitive. This is especially true in the consumable contactor market.
Low operating costs and low average selling prices create low barriers to entry. Micro-organizations plants themselves next to their sole customer and provides fast turn times at competitive prices and onsite support. Although this is acceptable for some it is a risky business model. Furthermore the depth of knowledge of the product and therefore the value add from these micro-organizations is limited.
Andreas Bursian, Director InStrip & InMEMS Products, authored an article for Chip Scale Review Magazine, in which he elaborates on the question of what the test requirements for MEMS sensor devices will be in the future. Before he goes into detail, he describes in general what our world will look like in the future shaped by IoT and Industry 4.0., and how this will drive MEMS and sensor technology. Industry 4.0 and IoT are small components of a rapid global change that experts tend to call the 4th Industrial Revolution. This revolution will change all aspects of today’s living, such as cash flow, data handling, job structure, and the political and social structures of society and the industrial production of goods.Download the full article published in Chip Scale Review March 2017
We recently attended the MWC in Barcelona. It is clear 5G is going to happen; it is just not clear on when it will arrive, and what it will actually consist of when it does.
In terms of when, some industry players stated 5G will be earlier than 2020, while others stated later than 2020. Those that ‘want’ it earlier, justified it as ‘the technology that is being used is well understood’; i.e Defense/Mil/Aero have used these technologies, in most cases having either invented or made the technology(ies) viable to manufacture and deploy – albeit in smaller quantities and much higher price points and footprint than what the consumer market for Wireless can support.
OSATs and ATE vendors are making progress in determining what works and what doesn’t in 2.5D packaging, expanding their knowledge base as this evolves into a mainstream technology. Most experts believe that full 3D packaging is at least five years away from mainstream deployment. 2.5D, in contrast, already has made inroads in markets where price sensitivity is low and demand for throughput to memory is extremely high, such as networking, server and graphics applications. Andy Nagy, Senior Director Marketing HG & TCI Operations at Xcerra, recently highlighted the challenges in test handling in an interview with Jeff Dorsch, Semiconductor Engineering. The article compiles thoughts of the key players in this market.
Read the full article here: http://semiengineering.com/2-5d-adds-test-challenges/
Semiconductor giant AMS has set some aggressive growth plans for the coming years. Achieving them will rely on a workforce with a will to win and out-of-the-box thinking.
Sensors are already all around us; they’re used in everything from smartphones to smart homes, to industrial automation and all devices that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT). With new applications constantly being developed, they’re only going to become more pervasive. According to Alexander Everke, Chief Executive at AMS. “Sensor technologies will be increasingly important in the future,” he predicts, adding that they’re replacing the human senses.
Read the full article in the CEO Magazine here: http://www.theceomagazine.com/business/alexander-everke/