New Link Scale cards improve test coverage and boost throughput in high-quality testing of complex SoCs
TOKYO, Japan – November 8, 2021 – Leading semiconductor test equipment supplier Advantest Corporation (TSE: 6857) has launched its new Link Scale™ family of digital channel cards for the V93000 platform, enabling software-based functional testing and USB / PCI Express (PCIe) SCAN testing of advanced semiconductors. The new cards address testing challenges that require these interfaces to run in full protocol mode, adding system-like test™ capabilities to the V93000.
Link Scale USB
Link Scale PCIe
V93000 Exa Scale test system
Many of today’s complex system-on-chip (SoC) devices, microprocessors, graphics processors and AI accelerators incorporate high-speed digital interfaces such as USB or PCIe. The new Link Scale cards use these interfaces for very fast transfer of functional and scan test content, increasing test coverage and throughput simultaneously. Using the same form factor as all other V93000 cards, they fully integrate into the test head.
The new Link Scale cards communicate with the device under test through a standard high-speed serial interface. This allows users to test the device in its normal mode of operation, using similar firmware and drivers as in the target application. The high throughput of this approach keeps the test time under control, while the additional functional coverage helps to meet the stringent quality requirements of complex devices manufactured in the latest process nodes. Link Scale cards enable the use of state-of-the-art debug tools (e.g., Lauterbach TRACE32®), improving the process for first silicon bring-up and accelerating the ramp into full production.
Pre-silicon functional tests can now be re-used, leveraging the Portable Test and Stimulus Standard (PSS), which is supported by major electronic design automation (EDA) tools and significantly increases test quality and shortens time to market. The new cards also provide a customizable environment for host software to run on the cards, allowing real-world application testing with a full software stack to be performed on the V93000 system. This facilitates the exchange of test data among different environments, such as wafer sort, final test and system-level test. As a result, the Link Scale test solution can help users to establish known-good-die (KGD) strategies for chiplets in 2.5D or 3D multi-die packages.
"The results of the collaboration between Advantest and Cadence lets customers reuse software-driven functional stress tests from design validation in high-volume manufacturing with the Cadence Perspec System Verifier," said Yogesh Goel, vice president of business and customer development in the System & Verification Group at Cadence. "Customers can benefit from use of a widely established tool chain to automatically generate and debug tests with high coverage and short execution times."
"By using a high-speed link, supporting custom operating systems and drivers, integrating local processing power and incorporating support from Advantest’s EDA partners, our Link Scale cards deliver testing and debugging capabilities that are unmatched by traditional ATE," said Juergen Serrer, managing executive officer responsible for Advantest’s V93000 Business Unit. "This product family extends the application range of our V93000 platform into new areas, substantially enriching digital testing on ATE."
The new cards can be added to any V93000 Smart Scale or V93000 EXA Scale System and have been delivered to pilot customers for test program development in advance of device ramp for high-volume manufacturing. They will be broadly available in the first quarter of 2022.
About Advantest Corporation
Advantest (TSE: 6857) is the leading manufacturer of automatic test and measurement equipment used in the design and production of semiconductors for applications including 5G communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, smart medical devices and more. Its leading-edge systems and products are integrated into the most advanced semiconductor production lines in the world. The company also conducts R&D to address emerging testing challenges and applications, produces multi-vision metrology scanning electron microscopes essential to photomask manufacturing, and offers groundbreaking 3D imaging and analysis tools. Founded in Tokyo in 1954, Advantest is a global company with facilities around the world and an international commitment to sustainable practices and social responsibility. More information is available at www.advantest.com.
Note: All information supplied in this release is correct at the time of publication, but may be subject to change.