How NCATEST Raised Performance and Lowered Power of Its Automated Test Equipment
April 15, 2020
|By: Christine Young
Blogger, Maxim Integrated
Shanghai, China-based NCATEST Technologies researches, designs, and manufactures high-end automatic test equipment (ATE) for the semiconductor industry. Quality, of course, is critical in ATE, as these systems are used to prevent defective semiconductor devices from being used in their final products. As such, NCATEST adopts advanced technology and scientific management methods to develop and produce its products, which serve different types of chips for different markets. The company prides itself on local production, extensive applications coverage, fast lead times, cost-effective solutions, and customized services and development.
Pin electronics and an array of analog ICs from Maxim Integrated are part of a smaller, lower power, better performing ATE solution from NCATEST Technologies.
NCATEST's ATE solutions are designed with a variety of analog ICs. The company's engineers typically seek ICs, including pin electronics, that deliver high accuracy, low power, and high performance. The pin electronics are the electronic circuitry in the testing system that connects to the device under test (DUT). This circuitry can deliver signals, power, or precise voltages and currents, and can also measure the pin's response, drive, and electrical characteristics.
To meet the specifications of one of its new solutions, NCATEST chose the MAX9979 dual 1.1Gbps pin electronics, which integrates multiple ATE functions in a single IC, including parametric measurement unit (PMU), level-setting digital-to-analog converters (DACs), driver/comparator/load (DCL), and switches, while maintaining discrete device performance. The company is also using these Maxim Integrated analog ICs:
- MAX6350 low-noise, precision voltage reference
- MAX6325 low-noise, precision voltage reference
- MAX811 low-power microprocessor supervisory circuit
- MAX3232 low-power true RS-232 transceiver
- MAX541 serial-input, voltage-output 16-bit DACs
- MAX4820 8-channel, cascadable relay driver with serial/parallel interface
- MAX11160 16-bit, 500ksps SAR analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with internal reference
- MAX14783 half-duplex RS-485/422 transceiver with ±35kV HBM ESD protection
- MAX6696 dual remote/local temperature sensor with SMBus serial interface
These devices helped NCATEST reduce its design cycle while creating an ATE solution that is smaller, lower power, and better performing than its predecessor.