SOURCE: Credence Systems Corporation

December 05, 2007 01:37 ET

Credence Expands Diamond Platform to Offer Cost-Effective Multi-Site Mixed-Signal Test of Highly Integrated Devices for Consumer Electronics

Innovative MultiWave Instrument Offers Plug-and-Play Flexibility for High-Mix Product Environments

CHIBA, JAPAN--(Marketwire - December 5, 2007) - SEMICON JAPAN -- Marking a significant enhancement to the company's Diamond test platform, Credence Systems (NASDAQ: CMOS) today introduced the MultiWave instrument, the industry's most cost-effective mixed-signal solution for multi-site testing of highly integrated system-in-package (SiP) and system-on-chip (SoC) devices used in mainstream consumer applications. The MultiWave instrument integrates the functionality of multiple instruments in one multi-channel arbitrary waveform generator and digitizer unit, allowing for fully parallel and concurrent testing of audio and video SiP and SoC components, and enabling significant cost of test reduction in very competitive markets. Especially effective in high-mix product environments because of its plug-and-play configurability, the MultiWave instrument has already been adopted in high volume manufacturing by leading semiconductor manufacturers in the consumer electronics market as well as outsourced assembly and test (OSAT) providers and characterization labs.

"One of our principles to improving test economics is to ensure that the test system is not adding overhead cost," stated Amir Aghdaei, senior vice president of field operations and marketing at Credence. "In addition to required performance, plug-and-play configurability, operational efficiency, and acquisition cost of the test system are very important considerations for our customers in the price-sensitive mainstream consumer electronics market. These considerations become even more important as more and more device manufacturers form partnerships with OSATs for wafer sort and final test. In a high-mix product environment, for example, fast automatic calibration, diagnostics, and configurability can provide a huge advantage in accelerating the ramp to high volume production to meet time-to-market goals. Now, with the addition of the MultiWave instrument, the Diamond test platform offers customers the optimum test platform to realize the advantages of faster time-to-market in a very cost-effective and efficient manner."

Mixed-signal devices today incorporate highly integrated, mixed digital and analog cores such as digital-to-analog converters and analog-to-digital converters, providing complete system functionality on a single chip. According to Gartner Dataquest, by 2009-10 multimedia MP3 players, digital video recorders and digital TV processors using 65nm technologies will integrate all functions on a single chip. Testing becomes a real issue with analog/mixed-signal designs as it is important to ensure maximum fault coverage with minimum test time. Concurrent testing of device blocks is also a necessity to ensure that devices meet complex specifications that impact quality and reliability.

"Our number one priority is to ramp to volume production and meet our time-to-market goals as rapidly and cost-effectively as we can," stated Patrick Sauvage, managing director of the SPACE/ULC product line, ASIC Business Management, at Atmel Rousset, France. "The complex ASICs that we manufacture today have a very high level of analog/mixed-signal content. By rapidly integrating several MultiWave instruments in our Diamond engineering and production platforms, we have been able to accelerate our wafer sort and final production test, including correlation and validation with our OSAT partners, with highly parallel operations and maximum flexibility. We achieved final test production of one of our key mixed-signal ASICs, and produced over one million devices, in a few weeks."

High Operational Efficiency

The MultiWave instrument's fully parallel multi-channel architecture delivers very efficient parallel test capability. Tailored for multi-site testing -- with parallel signal generation and sampling of analog signals -- the instrument's four independent wide-range generator channels and four independent digitizer channels allow for concurrent testing of video and audio components, fully synchronized to the digital components. These channels are designed to generate AC or DC signals in a wide frequency range from high precision audio to high speed video applications. Each digitizer or generator path can easily be software configured as a high precision or high frequency signal path on demand. Sampling rates range from 0 to 250 mega samples per second (MS/s) with resolutions from 16-bit for video and up to 24-bit for high precision audio tests. The high level of integration combined with the lowest cost per channel address the relentless pressure to reduce the cost of test.

Excellent Analog and Digital Performance

Together with the highest precision and the capability to address analog bandwidths exceeding 100 MHz, the MultiWave instrument effectively covers the test needs of a wide spectrum of mixed-signal consumer components in the market. In addition, excellent differential phase and gain stability of less than 0.1% enable highly reliable testing of video and wireless baseband performance. Flexible instrument trigger modes -- with multiple trigger inputs and outputs per instrument -- allow for a pattern controlled test flow and reliable digital-to-analog synchronization for highly efficient test methodologies. In addition to the converter path, every input/output channel includes a separate high precision Kelvin PMU for parallel DC parametric tests.

The MultiWave instrument on the Diamond platform, along with the production-proven ASL Series, will be on display at Semicon Japan, December 5-7, 2007 at the Credence booth, number 9A-506 in the Makuhari Messe.

About Credence

Credence Systems Corporation is a leading provider of ATE solutions for the global semiconductor industry. With a commitment to applying innovative technology to lower the cost-of-test, Credence delivers competitive cost and performance advantages to integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), wafer foundries, outsource assembly and test (OSAT) suppliers and fabless chip companies worldwide. A global, ISO 9001-certified company with a presence in 20 countries, Credence is headquartered in Milpitas, California. More information is available at

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