Integrated Multi-system Architecture (IMA) Print  

Driving a New Level of Production Efficiency

LTX-Credence, a pioneer of semiconductor ATE solutions, has introduced a new system architecture driving production floor efficiency to a new level. Integrated Multi-system Architecture (IMA), supports the assembly of test system arrays using lower cost, compact test systems as fundamental building blocks. This new test paradigm allows customers to maximize production floor flexibility and utilization resulting in lower cost of test and reduced capital spending. The future in providing the industry’s lowest cost test solutions are with tester arrays and IMA sets the standard.


What is an Integrated Multi-system Architecture, or IMA?

IMA is an ATE architecture enabling the creation, on the production floor, of large tester arrays utilizing compact, lower cost test systems. Further, IMA tester arrays can be rapidly reconfigured back into individual test cells to address the constantly shifting capacity needs of semiconductor production. Allowing the ultimate in flexibility, IMA tester arrays eliminate the need to purchase physically large, high pin count systems for test resource intensive applications. IMA arrays enable semiconductor manufacturers to adopt the most cost effective manufacturing test strategies for the complete range of SoC and SiP applications.


Diamond – The First IMA Compliant Test System

The first LTX-Credence offering using IMA is the Diamond platform. As an example, an IMA tester array using three air-cooled Diamond test systems will provide test capability up to 2,400 digital/analog pins, in a footprint one half the floor space compared to traditional high pin count platforms. Diamond IMA arrays deliver a lower cost of test compared to systems architected to support high pin count resources. Additionally, they can accommodate multi-site applications exceeding 256 devices. Application programs developed on a single Diamond tester are fully compatible with a Diamond IMA array and require no modifications.

IMA tester arrays using Diamond testers are offered in two mechanical formats – X2 (integrating 2 Diamond systems) and X3 (integrating 3 Diamond systems). Using soft docking techniques, the IMA approach can be extended to a maximum of ten Diamond systems integrated together.

Diamond Resources

An IMA tester array of Diamond systems takes advantage of all the instruments currently available for the Diamond Platform:

DPIN96 – 96-channel 100MHz sequencer rate, 200Mbps digital instrument

HDVI – 72-channel high density VI source

VIS16 – 16-channel precision high-voltage VI source

DPS16 – 16-channel high current device power supply

Multi-wave – 8-channel mixed signal instrument providing 4 digitizers and 4 arbitrary waveform generators.

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IMA Benefits

IMA is targeted to significantly drive down the cost-of-test through:

Flexibility - In today’s dynamic economic climate accurately forecasting semiconductor production capacity has become more of an art than science. An IMA deployment strategy provides the production floor manager the flexibility to create large tester arrays or reconfigure a tester array back into singulated test cells, thereby achieving overall higher asset utilization. This flexibility also saves capital by investing in compact, lower cost building blocks that can be used as individual testers or in IMA tester arrays instead of high resource, expensive testers that are over-configured for less intensive applications.

    Multi-site Efficiency – Traditional test system architectures add test overhead leading to diminishing efficiencies as test sites increase. However, IMA test arrays virtually eliminate this effect by utilizing parallel processing in the multi-system architecture. This results in
    near 100% multi-site efficiency as additional testers are added to a tester array.

      Figure 1 illustrates the typical progression of test time overhead as the number of sites expands on a system where a single controller governs the test program.

      Figure 2 highlights the benefit of an IMA tester array– the test time overhead is distributed over several test controllers, each governing the test program on an individual test head. This has the effect of flattening the test time overhead and allows an IMA tester array to attain extremely efficient throughput, particularly in a massive multi-site application. Higher efficiency means more throughput and less capital investment.


    Resource Density – A key feature of an IMA tester array is the ratio of resource count to the physical area it requires. An IMA tester array of Diamond systems has the highest resource density offered today, allowing it to reside in a single test cell while doing the work of multiple systems utilizing traditional architectures. This extraordinary resource density facilitates docking to a single handler or prober in high multi-site applications further reducing production floor space, capital associated with handling equipment and energy consumption, creating a more efficient test floor and significantly lowering costs.



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