Test Equipment (ATE) or Electrical Testers
Test Equipment (ATE), or testers
(see Fig. 1), are used in the process of automatically
testing the electrical characteristics and performance of finished
ATE's vary widely in accordance with the types of products
they test. In general,
however, it consists of an elaborate controller- or microprocessor-based
system that controls: 1) boards or modules that can
excitation to the device under test (DUT) and 2) boards or modules that
behavior of the DUT in
response to the applied excitation.
paraphernalia such as
family boards and
DUT boards are attached to the tester to configure it to the specific needs of the DUT, since the testers
themselves are often designed to be as generic as possible.
Example of an IC Tester
Test System Manufacturers:
Hewlett-Packard offers a broad range of
capabilities to provide cost effective, "Just Enough
Test" IC test system implementations.
Corp., Tokyo, Japan
Advantest claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of
semiconductor component test equipment and handlers. It has manufacturing, sales, and service facilities
Test Systems, Fremont, CA
Aehr Test Systems is a leading provider of systems for
burning-in and testing DRAM and logic integrated circuits,
including the FOX Wafer-Level Burn-in System, the MTX Massively
Parallel Memory Test/Burn-in System, and the MAX Burn-in and Test
Corp. Dallas, TX
CompuRoute, a Cerprobe subsidiary, has been designing,
manufacturing and marketing a wide variety of custom and generic
test boards since 1972.
Credence offers information on its products and the wide range
of employment opportunities and benefits it presently offers.
Inc. Dallas, TX
CST, which has provided the memory industry with simm testers,
handlers, and adaptors for the past 13 years, has joined the WWW
Semiconductor Test Group. Tempe, AZ
Previously ESH, this company has been making performance
boards (DUT boards) since 1983.
INCAL is a manufacturer of Burn-in Equipment and accessories
and also produces and supports the HP 947x series
Mixed-signal test systems under license from HP.
KVD Company is a supplier of Semiconductor Automated Test
Equipment for the Low End Mixed Signal Market.
Liberty Research designs and markets custom high frequency,
low inductance hand test and production sockets and fixtures for
Lorlin Test Systems manufactures, sells and supports their line of Automated Testing
Equipment and Automated Handling Equipment for Discrete
LTX designs, manufactures, and markets
linear, mixed-signal, and discrete semiconductor test equipment.
The MOSAID Test Systems Division designs, manufactures,
markets and supports memory test systems and data analysis
software for engineers.
San Jose, CA
NPTest, today a wholly owned subsidiary
of Schlumberger Limited, provides advanced test and diagnostic systems as
well as engineering services to the semiconductor industry,
Systems Corp. Cupertino, CA
NEXTEST produces the low-cost Logic, Memory, Scan, and Analog
Maverick "personal tester" with test rates to 66MHz and
pin-counts up to 512.
Technologies, Inc., Hayward, CA
OZ Technologies provides a wide range of I.C.
test interfaces: test sockets, contactors, interposers, package adapters, probes, burn-in boards, load
boards and probe
Testsysteme AG, Amerang, Germany
SZ Testsysteme AG is a manufacturer of automatic test systems
(ATE) for production, incoming inspection and characterization.
Corp., Boston, MA
With revenues of approximately $1.2 billion and over 4000
employees in the United States, Europe and Asia, Teradyne is a
market leader in analog component test, memory test, VLSI logic
test and circuit board test.
Inc. Sunnyvale, CA
TMT supplies cost-effective automatic test equipment to
high-volume manufacturers of linear and mixed-signal semiconductor
devices, both at the wafer sort and final package test.
Xandex's primary offerings are its DieMark inking systems, DUT
boards and a line of prober-tester interface products.
production electrical testing can only be possible by attaching a test
handler to an ATE. A
(see Fig. 2) refers to the equipment
the unit to be tested to the
of the ATE, allowing the ATE to test the unit. After testing, the handler
puts the unit to the appropriate output location based on the ATE test
handlers vary widely in configuration.
Some use gravity
to bring the device under test (DUT) to the test
site and to reload them back into tubes.
Others use special
or pick-and-place systems to
accomplish this. Some handlers can only be assigned to one tester, yet
some can be allocated to eight or
testers. A typical test handler is
equipped with a loading or input stage, a test site, a sort shuttle, an
unloading or output stage, various sensors, and interfaces to the tester.
gravity-fed handlers, the input stage usually consists of input tracks
into which the input tubes containing the units to be tested are inserted. The units slide down the input track into the test site for
testing. After testing, the
unit is then transported by the sort shuttle to the appropriate output
track based on whether the unit is good or bad.
Pick-and-place handlers usually pick the units for testing from a
tray and present them to the test site for testing.
After testing, the pick-and-place system takes the unit and puts it
into the appropriate output tray.
Test Handler Manufacturers:
Corp., Tokyo, Japan
Advantest claims to be the world's
largest manufacturer of component test handlers. It has
manufacturing, sales, and service facilities world wide.
Corp., N. St. Paul MN
Aetrium develops and integrates proprietary technologies into
production-based test and handling systems used by the worldwide
electronic component and semiconductor industry.
Corp. Vacaville, CA
Avisa Corporation offers the AV-280 is a state of the art,
fully automatic Pick and Place IC handling system. Off the shelf
proven components (Drivers, I/O Controllers etc.) are designed in
resulting in extremely high accuracy and reliability, the AV-280
will handle devices up to 40 mm square, quickly and accurately.
Design, Milpitas, CA
DB Design Group is leading after-market supplier of Change
Kits for DUT handlers. It promises short lead times and lower
Lorlin Test Systems, a greater Boston area company
manufactures, sells and supports their line of Automated Testing
Equipment and Automated Handling Equipment for Discrete
RASCO AG, located in Kolbermoor, Germany, manufacturers high
speed gravity feed handlers
SimmPro (Tustin, CA 714-505-9600) suppies automation products
including DIMM handler, SIMM handler, circuit board labeler,
shipping tray loader, multi-site handler, and various circuit
board packaging products.
Synergetix designs and manufactures custom modules,test
sockets, and interfaces.
Electronics Company Ltd. (SYNAX)
Synax has been manufacturing of high quality pick and place
handlers for the surface mount device industry for over 10 years.
Three examples of Test Handlers
and Reel Equipment
and reel equipment
(see Fig. 3), as the name implies, is the equipment used in packing
and sealing finished products into individual pockets of a
and in rolling this tape onto a
Taping and reeling is an alternative packaging process for small
surface mount devices that are impractical to ship in tubes.
typical tape and reel equipment consists of an input or
loading stage, a
vision system for inspection, a
reeling mechanism, and an
output stage. The input stage
usually consists of an automatic tube loading mechanism.
The units from the input tubes are inspected one at a time for
marking and lead defects before being deposited by a pick-and-place system
into the individual pockets of the carrier tape.
The seal or
cover tape and the carrier tape meet at some point in
the machine, with the seal tape covering the carrier tape.
The machine then applies
to the seal tape to seal the pocket.
This cycle repeats as the tape winds around the reel, and the
process continues until the required number of units are taped and reeled.
A series of empty pockets are generated at the start and end of the
reel, known as the leader and trailer, respectively.
Ismeca, STI, and Microvision are examples of manufacturers of tape and
Examples of Tape and Reel Equipment
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