Electronic Design

Automated Test Equipment System Scales To Price/Performance Needs

Based on a new NPower open architecture and XTOS (eXtendable Test Operating System) software, the Sapphire NP automated test equipment (ATE) reduces cost by being scalable to suit different price/performance requirements. According to NPTest, Sapphire's developer, the system supports the capabilities needed for the wide range of system-on-a-chip test demands, from design to production.

"More than an incremental evolution, Sapphire NP is a radical departure—the disruptive technology—that the industry has been waiting for," says Ashok Belani, CEO of NPTest. "Its unique architecture and programming environment enable the implementation of low-cost production strategies on the same platform. Unlike traditional 'big iron,' however, it does this without burdening the user with the overhead cost of a bulky system infrastructure. This will dramatically change the fundamental ATE landscape."

The system's 4D scalable architecture lets users choose the level of price/performance and functionality they need. The system can be optimized from dc to multigigahertz capabilities for digital and analog structural and functional testing.

The NPower Isochronous Fabric Interface enables advanced communications and precise synchronization between instruments. It enhances system performance in any configuration. XTOS software uses industry-standard STIL, Java, and XML, allowing test engineers to easily link to EDA tools. A host of test tools are available for test-program generation and deployment to production. PC and Windows-based, the tools support a large number of applications and are easily customizable.

Prices for the system start at $200 per pin for basic dc scan tests, with availability scheduled for the third quarter.

NPTest Inc.
(408) 586-6738

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