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

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.

The HSI1x’s proprietary interconnect technology allows the transmission of an unprecedented number of SerDes lanes from the test head instrumentation to the user DUT fixture, while maintaining superb signal fidelity at data rates of greater than 12Gbps.  Xcerra’s leadership position in wireless test systems and sockets for 5G and millimeter-wave RF devices played a crucial role in enabling this high performance interconnect.  Designing transmission lines for greater than 12 Gbps signal delivery requires careful planning and attention to detail, where the geometry and tolerance of every via, trace, and layer of the PCB must be taken into consideration in order to achieve uniform signal path impedance.  With this innovative interconnect, over 2000 HSI1x channels can be configured in a Diamondx and up to 280 in a DxV.

In addition to setting a new bar in the ATE industry for channel density and data rate, the HSI1x provides a full suite of features to ensure high quality and high throughput, from initial characterization to volume production.  With a finely programmable data rate up to 12.8Gbps, and fully coherent and synchronized with the wide range of digital, wireless, mixed-signal, analog and power instrumentation available on the Diamondx and DxV systems, the HSI1x can support the most stringent test lists.  Algorithmic PRBS patterns and deep arbitrary patterns support the full range of physical layer through functional protocol testing.  Independent wide-bandwidth CDR, BERT per receiver, and arbitrary eye mask testing provide a clear view of DUT transmitter performance.  Sophisticated multi-source calibrated jitter injection allows stringent DUT receiver tolerance testing.  Multi-tap transmitter pre/de-emphasis and receiver continuous time linear equalization enable the user to de-embed transmission losses and verify true DUT performance.   Flexible loopback options allow for closed loop testing or ATE-assisted BIST.  Finally, HSI1x supports calibrated lane-to-lane skew for testing of clock-forwarded ports such as MIPI D-Phy.

HSI1x is a ground-breaking advancement in channel density and data rate for testing of advanced SerDes ports in modern SoC devices.  Coupled with the wide range of instrumentation available on Diamondx and DxV, HSI1x is a breakthrough in quality, cost and time-to-market for modern mobility and media devices.

For more information, please download the HSI1x Instrument Brochure here:  [HS1x Instrument Brochure]

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