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VI Technology Automated IC Characterization and Evaluation System

Date: 10/03/07
Category: S6 - Skeeter
Company: VI Technology
Industry: Commercial | Platform: PXI


VI S6 Test System

VI Technology uses the Virginia Panel S6 SkeeterTM Rack Configuration for its Automated IC Characterization and Evaluation System. VI Technology developed this automated test system to help IC design engineers conduct silicon validation and characterization. Before this system was available, engineers had to manually configure and set up mixed-signal test sequences with multiple stand-alone instruments to test their designs across hundreds of parameters. In addition, the engineers needed months to manually sift through the generated data and build reports with spreadsheet tools for each new device.

With the Automated IC Characterization and Evaluation System, design engineers can reconfigure and run their tests in a fraction of the time, and obtain their multi-parameter characterization reports, which span across hundreds of pages, in a matter of minutes. The test system incorporates VI Technology Arendar to automatically store test data in a database, generate custom reports, and publish them through a Web dashboard.

VI engineers chose VPC's S6 to connect the equipment rack to the enclosure housing a prototype board. From the enclosure, VPC discrete cables connect it to the evaluation board. They selected the S6 because it allowed them to use that enclosure and because it minimizes the required lengths of cables and connections. The primary benefit of using the VPC interface is to easily connect different kinds of DUTs to the rack of instruments while still maintaining signal integrity, reducing test time and improving the usability of the test station.

The system includes a PXI chassis, SCXI signal conditioning modules, a 3.5 GHz digital oscilloscope, a high-performance DC power supply, a dual-channel power supply analyzer, an 8 1/2-digit multimeter, a PXI 24-bit 192kHz arbitrary waveform generator, a PXI 100 MHz logic analyzer with digital pattern generator, a PXI high-precision counter/timer module, a PXI 18-bit 500 kS/s analog input module with 32 analog inputs, a switch module, a frequency counter, and a function generator. The system also includes user-configurable software and intuitive LabVIEW-based user interfaces for scalability and test sequence reconfiguration.