Ni emphasizes that semiconductor testing is the strategic focus, and makes every effort to layout 5g, millimeter wave and other cutting-edge technology testing with ecological forces.
the semiconductor industry is winning the next tuyere: the forefront of the evolution of next-generation wireless communication, the deployment of IOT is increasing year by year, the self driving vehicle is within reach, the continuous integration of different technologies, and the increasingly intelligent equipment, which also make the role of semiconductor testing increasingly important. Semiconductor testing has always been the strategic focus of Ni. With the platform based method, Ni's semiconductor testing program can ensure product quality, maintain price competitive advantage, and better adapt to the tight market cycle under the demand of the industry to continuously improve chip integration. National Instruments (hereinafter referred to as Ni) CEO Alex davern believes that Ni's semiconductor testing program has its own unique positioning in the industry. In fact, only the flow of people at the Ni booth during semichina 2018, which just ended a short time ago, can reveal the popularity of the semiconductor testing field and how Ni's test plan has won the hearts of the people
Figure 1 Ni semiconductor testing program appeared in semicon China 2018, attracting public attention, and the semiconductor testing heat continued to rise
focusing on semiconductor testing, pan Jian'an, the semiconductor market development manager of Ni Greater China, said in an interview with semiconchina2018 that three trends are forming in this field. First, the seamless connection from laboratory feature analysis to mass production testing; The second is to maintain the progressiveness of the industry. On the one hand, it refers to the further support for new standards and technologies such as 5gnr and millimeter wave. On the other hand, it also refers to the advancement of testing leadership, such as using artificial intelligence to optimize the efficiency of semiconductor testing; Third, the demand for system level testing (SLT) for system level packaging (SIP) is growing. These three trends will eventually converge into one demand, which is an intelligent test scheme that is flexible and scalable, can adapt to new standards and protocols, and ensure the lowest total cost of ownership and the shortest time to market. Ni semiconductor test scheme is one of them
figure pan Jian'an (left), semiconductor market development manager in Greater China, and Malis (right), Ni technical market engineer, were interviewed by the media during semichina
nists, which deploys more than 500 units worldwide, has broken through its own Blue Ocean from laboratory to mass production testing.
seamlessly connects laboratory feature analysis to mass production testing. It must be mentioned that Ni can be quickly deployed to the semiconductor test system (STS) in the production test environment. Since it was officially launched to the market at the end of 2014, nists, that is, the standard testing machine, has deployed more than 500 units worldwide, pan Jianan emphasized. As we all know, in the past, the semiconductor testing market has been monopolized by several industry giants that provide E equipment when traditional at produces phenomena such as specimen fracture, experimental force exceeding the limit, test times reaching the set value, abnormal lubrication system, etc., and it can create a blue ocean in this red ocean, which has been widely recognized in just a few years. Nists must have its own uniqueness:
first, Test cost: the test cost is not only the amount of purchase of test equipment, but also the maintenance cost of customers. The high complexity of traditional ate equipment brings high maintenance costs. As an open industry standard, PXI platform is the basis for Ni to develop all its test systems. In addition, because the unified development environment LabVIEW and test management software TestStand are used in laboratory and mass production testing, the consistency of software and hardware is the key for nists to maximize the reuse of the code in the laboratory, improve the efficiency of semiconductor testing, and reduce the cost of testing
second, test parallelism: the Ni semiconductor test scheme with FPGA acceleration and automatic scheduling through the modular characteristics of PXI and niteststand software can not only complete more test projects in a shorter time, but also realize multi site parallel testing
third, scalability: according to pan Jianan, customers generally use Ni's PXI platform in laboratory testing. Ni integrates instruments into it to form a standard testing machine STS suitable for mass production testing. For the test demand of higher channel number, Ni can expand STS from T1 system to T2 and T4 system
Figure 3 Figure 1: the internal architecture of nists is based on PXI platform; Figure (below): according to the needs of customers, Ni's semiconductor testing scheme can be flexibly extended from PXI platform to nists system
to maintain progressiveness, Ni semiconductor testing program has always been one step forward, compatible with 5g, millimeter wave, etc.
to get through the laboratory to mass production testing, and compatibility with more cutting-edge technologies has also become the top priority of semiconductor testing. As we all know, the development of semiconductor technology can be said to be the key to the landing of various cutting-edge applications. Therefore, the continuous development of 5g, millimeter wave and other technologies will also bring infinite challenges to the field of semiconductor testing. Turning to 5g chips, which are popular in the market, modern RF front-end modules increasingly package more modules (such as power amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, etc.) into a single component. At the same time, the support of front-end modules for multimode and multi-band also increases the complexity of the whole test
for example, the first commercial 5grf front-end module qm19000 launched by qorvo in the industry integrates a power amplifier and a low-noise amplifier. With the flexibility of Ni PXI system, qorvo can reuse the same hardware in the test, and can use various waveforms to quickly test its 5g FEM design. Qorvo said that the high bandwidth, excellent RF performance and flexibility of the nipxi test system are crucial to help us launch the industry's first commercial 5g front-end module
in addition, 3GPP just officially released the first draft of 5g NR standard at the end of last year. Strike while the iron is hot. Ni recently launched a sub-6ghz 5g test reference solution that meets the 5g new air interface (NR) 3GPP release 15 specification in the same period of MWC 2018. According to Ni technical market engineer Maris, the new reference test solution launched by Ni is not only very suitable for testing new broadband RFIC, especially in 3 2GHz and 4 RFIC working in 0ghz band, and the key part of the solution is Ni rfmx NR measurement software, which will evolve with the pace of 3GPP specification
Figure 4 Ni also brought the latest and most comprehensive semiconductor testing program to semiconchina2018
corresponding to millimeter wave applications, Ni millimeter wave system can use flexible and scalable modular instruments to accelerate the prototype verification and test system from baseband to RF front end. It is reported that Ni millimeter wave system combines flexible modular hardware and powerful software to support up to 2GHz bandwidth signal transmission and reception, which is suitable for the basic configuration of bidirectional and unidirectional systems, and can be extended from SISO to MIMO
with ecological forces, Ni believes that software plays an increasingly prominent role in the testing system.
in addition to the just mentioned Ni mass production testing at the wafer level, Ni will also cooperate to expand our wafer testing capabilities in the laboratory through ecological partners such as PDA. Pan Jianan believes that Ni has always been carrying ecological forces to tackle various challenges in the field of semiconductor testing
Boda micro should be said to be a company that applies artificial intelligence (AI) in the semiconductor field. Li Yanfeng, CEO of Boda micro, believes that the application mode is to make the test faster, more accurate and more powerful. In the future trend of semiconductor testing, algorithms are forming a new wave of help. This time, Boda micro was also invited to appear at Ni's booth in semichina to display the semiconductor parametric test product fs380 Pro based on Ni PXI source measurement unit (SMU) application machine learning, which was newly released earlier this year. It fully covers the IV current and voltage test function, CV capacitor voltage test function, 1/f noise low-frequency noise test function, pulse pulse generation function, and realizes the need to complete all tests in a single instrument, And increase the test speed by 10 times
Figure 5 Boda micro's latest semiconductor parametric testing product fs380 Pro based on machine learning was unveiled at the nisemicon booth
although it is currently focused on parametric testing in the laboratory, Li Yanfeng frankly said that the future is focused on mass production. From this point of view, the architecture of Ni provides an infinite possibility of parallelism. Returning to the essence of semiconductor testing, we are extremely consistent with the concept of Ni. Li Yanfeng believes that the first to overcome the domestic technical difficulties that cannot be solved by physical methods to recycle waste plastic composites is fast, The reduction of test time is directly related to the further reduction of test cost; The second point is flexibility. New things should constantly emerge to support the uncertain future
figure a list of some partners in the semiconductor testing field
in the test system, the status of software is becoming more and more important. Pan Jian'an bluntly said that the cooperation between Ni and Boda micro values their algorithm advantages. In fact, Ni also pays more and more attention to the core position of software in the testing machine, or cooperate with manufacturers more, or improve the software on the testing machine, such as TestStand, LabVIEW and systemlink
the test scheme flexibly developed by Ni is becoming a new force that cannot be ignored in the field of semiconductor testing
the modular and high flexibility Ni semiconductor test scheme with software as the core is gradually showing its advantages in the evolution of the trend, This year, Aojie technology, which jointly participated with Ni in semichina, is using Ni's open system level test scheme (SLT) to develop a system level test project for its latest 4glte modem chip. In just 3 months, we completed the development of SLT system level test project and successfully deployed it in the production line. Aojie technology believes that this is also LabVIEW and te "I think challenges are always accompanied by opportunities. Ststand's ease of use brings convenience to engineers.
in fact, tracing back to the root, Ni's semiconductor testing scheme has been unanimously praised by leading companies in many industries, including Qualcomm, Ti, ADI and Bosch, as early as the launch of STS in 2014. It plays a high value in WLAN testing, PMIC power management chip testing, data converter adc/dac, MEMS testing projects, and customers give The evaluation also highly focused on the improvement of high flexibility, test throughput, coverage and reliability that can support different test configurations, simplifying the test time advantage formed by data association, accelerating product launch and further reducing test costs
many customers like our flexible modular solution very much, pan Jianan said, but they also put forward the demand for standardization, so we decided to use the strategy of two tracks, providing both an open PXI platform and a standard STS tester. As soon as our plan is put into the market, it immediately brings a refreshing feeling to the industry
about national instruments (Ni)
since 1976, National Instruments () has been committed to providing a variety of powerful platform-based systems to help engineers and scientists improve efficiency and accelerate innovation, so as to solve major engineering challenges facing the world. Customers in all walks of life, from medical treatment, automotive, consumer electronics to particle physics, are a comprehensive performance index that reflects the elasticity, plasticity, strength and toughness of materials. Users are using Ni's integrated software and hardware platform to improve our living environment