High Volume Production Test of Gigabit SerDes Ports: Economic and Technical Challenges

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

What, when, where – the move to 5G

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.

5G Progress

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.

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5G: Plunging into open-ended test requirements

Mobile broadband technology is beginning to crawl from commonly known 4th Generation Wireless (4G) transmission standards to fifth generation wireless IMT2020 standardization, also known as 5G. This 5G network technology will influence semiconductor test in two directions, an evolutionary track and a revolutionary paradigm shift. The revolutionary aspect of 5G targets massive amounts of bandwidth not previously thought of as accessible. Many technological challenges have blocked the reasonable implementation of 5G cellular technology. Consumer demand for rapidly growing amounts of bandwidth, has created the need to solve these challenges.

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