Before you proceed to study and understand anything about semiconductors, it is important to understand that the terms like Semiconductor test equipment, Automated test equipment and IC testers have the same meaning. The main purpose of using these systems is to examine output signals after sending electric signals. Testing experts compare the expected values with the actual signal output. These testing equipment are helpful in making sure that the device is actually working according to its desired specifications. Now let’s proceed further to elaborate on the automated testing system.
What is an automated semiconductor test system?
As the name suggests, it is an automated system to test the efficiency of semiconductors. It is an assembled computer mechanism capable of examining the performance of a device from different perspectives like:-
This is an automated system and involves the least possible manual human efforts. Most electronic devices we use today are tested by the ATE semiconductor test system. The most common examples of devices tested by ATE system are:-
- Hard drives
- Integrated circuits
- Printed circuit boards
From your smartphone to spacecraft, the ATE system has great significance everywhere.
Components of ATE
In order to harness the potential of ATE semiconductor testing, the system is integrated with five different components including:-
- Signal sources
- Test instruments
- Test problems and handlers
How does it work?
In order to make use of an ATE semiconductor testing system, you need to assemble the above-mentioned components according to the needs of the testing environment. A data acquisition computer with high-performance capability is the first requirement for testing. This master controller is capable of running custom testing software applications. The computer system for ATI is equipped with multiple PCIe slots to insert signal or sensor expansion cards. The master controller collects raw data and analyses it with the software application. Its analysis results decide whether to make any improvement or it is ready for deployment. For capturing and analysing the data, testing professionals need some basic components such as:-
- LCR Meter
- Digital Multimeter
- Radio Frequency
- Digital storage oscilloscope
- Vector signal generator
Advantages of automated test equipment semiconductors system
Testing equipment makes sure that the final product in the customer’s hand will serve the purpose efficiently. Putting the testing process on an automated system is beneficial from many aspects. Please scroll down to know more.
- The automation system saves a lot of time wasted on manual testing. It maintains a consistency in test timing that usually remains variable substantially because of the manual work.
- The automated testing ensures that no errors remain behind during the process. Less human involvement decreases the chances of data input errors.
- After deploying a product in the market, if there is negative feedback by users, the semiconductor test system working on automation helps in making all corrections faster.
- The automated testing system is also cost-effective. Less time consumption, low risk of data input error and fast results with least possible human efforts saves a lot of money that can be invested in other R&D tasks.
Nowadays, ATE semiconductor testing systems are helping in almost every field of technology. Automotives, telecommunication, consumer electronics, military advancement and medical industries are the major consumers of this technology. In the upcoming future, we will see a huge demand for ATE semiconductors in the automobile industry because electronic vehicles are about to deploy from their launchpads. Consequently, the demand for semiconductor materials like silicon, silicon carbide and germanium will also increase.