Electronic Design

Open Architecture Lets Customers Configure Mixed-Signal Tester

The 3M20 low-cost mixed-signal (LCMS) tester, built by Third Millennium Test Solutions Inc., provides device-specific economics for a wide range of mixed-signal circuits. With a customer-configurable open architecture, it can test cost-sensitive consumer mixed-signal devices, including modems, smart power devices, control circuits, DSP devices, op amps, panel display drivers, digital-to-analog converters, and analog-to-digital converters. All may be tested effectively whether packaged alone or integrated in a system-on-a-chip IC.

This tester incorporates seven industry-standard instrument slots in its test head. The test head may be populated with any instrument from any source, provided only that the instrument complies with the PXI standard. To accommodate specialized high-voltage or high-current testing requirements, 12 of the company's proprietary instruments can be populated on the test head. Such a configuration enables the population of a total of 19 instruments in a 1-ft3 test head.

Thanks to the system's component-based structure, users can reconfigure it to match any circuit and create a "device-specific" tester. The system provides both analog and digital capacity through the Universal Pin Card Slot (UPCS) architecture. There are over 168 pins for analog use and up to 200 digital pins. The 3M20 offers clock rates to 80 MHz and analog channels with sample and output rates to 1.25 Msamples/s. High-performance digitizing is provided at up to 2 Gsamples/s.

The 3M20 system consists of a server, a test head, a device under test (DUT) board, and a test cassette for interfacing test-head electronics to the DUT board. Measuring only 32 by 32 by 28 cm, the small size and weight of the test head enables direct connection to handlers and probers without additional cost or floor space for the test-head manipulator normally required for automatic test equipment (ATE).

Plug-and-play capability is achieved through software based on the Windows 2000/PC platform. COM+ software components provide rapid software evolution and upgrade. An industry-standard operating system, a user interface, and instrument slots solidify the open architecture for ATE users. This architecture enables third-party development of instruments and software components that are fully supported by the company.

Available now, the 3M20 costs about $70,000 per system. Delivery time is 90 days ARO.

Third Millennium Test Solutions Inc., 181 Metro Dr., San Jose, CA 95110; (408) 452-5770; fax (408) 452-5773; www.3MTS.com.

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