The world of test, always struggling with cost concerns, got a breather with two new advances in high-performance automatic test equipment (ATE). Both developments come from Agilent Technologies' expanded 93000 ATE system. At one end of the 93000 spectrum is the parallel Probe 400 system for wafer-sorting and probing. At the other end, the SOC series can test at-speed 3.6-Gbit/s system-on-a-chip devices.
The Probe 400 system takes advantage of the 93000's test processor-per-pin architecture and parallel multisite testing capabilities. Featuring 512 pins, the system brings the cost-per-die testing down to less than 2 cents. Its reduced-pin-count approach permits the testing of as many as 32 die in parallel, with up to 2048 pins per system. Also, the Probe 400 can apply test patterns to a depth of 48 Mvectors at up to 100 Mbits/s. Each test pin can be upgraded via software to 96 Mvectors per pin and data rates of 200 or 400 Mbits/s.
For high-speed serial buses, the Pin Scale 3600 digital card offers per-pin scalability from 800 Mbits/s to 3.6 Gbits/s, programmable via software. Each pin offers both single-ended and differential I/O capabilities for double-data-rate, graphics-DDR, PCI Express, Serial ATA, HyperTransport, and front-side buses. A test-per-processor architecture minimizes measurement overhead and features differential pin edge-placement accuracy of ±30 ps. The system has eight independent clock domains.
Pricing for a 512-pin parallel Probe 400 system starts at $600,000. It's available now. A 600-pin Pin Scale 3600 card, which can be configured as a 250-pin, 1.8-Gbit/s or 3.2-Gbit/s system, costs $1.8 million. Each additional pin costs $2000. It will be available next month.