Power Management Testing Print  

Effectively and efficiently using power in a world driven more and more by mobile applications is a key driver of semiconductor technology.

Power management devices are designed to deliver specific power levels while reducing energy consumption, cooling, or noise and in handheld applications prolonging battery life. Power management devices have a wide range of applications and level of complexity. A power management device is used for one of two purposes, distributing accurate power throughout an electronic system or maximizing the battery life in a portable electronic system such as a smart-phone or tablet.

Increasing interest in Hybrid Electric and Electric Vehicles is also fueling growth in a new class of power management devices specific to this technology. Whether they are battery monitoring, motor control or distributing power from greater than 600V battery stacks like in the ones found in the Tesla’s Model S, power management devices play a fundamental role in the overall function of an electric vehicle.

Broadly speaking power management devices fall into the following classes:

        • Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMICs)
        • Linear Regulators
        • Switching Regulators
        • Battery Management
        • Supervisor or Sequencer
        • Display Drivers
        • Voltage References
        • Power MOSFET
Power management devices can range from very simple, 3 pin, analog only voltage regulators to highly complex, 246 pin, power management integrated circuits that include a mix of analog and digital technology. Approximately 90% of the different types of power management devices have 48 pins or less of inputs and outputs.

The level of complexity in a Power management device goes a long way in finding the right test solution. The characteristics of a highly complex power management device include moderate performance digital test capability and various voltage and current source/measure requirements. These types of devices tend to have a low product mix, high device pin count, high volume and long test times. These attributes of complex power management devices in turn require certain capabilities of the test solution. To do this the tester must have a high number of both analog and digital instruments. It must be capable of testing each partition of the device independently with no system overhead.

To achieve the cost of test targets a test solution must be capable of testing a high number of devices in parallel. It also has to be very efficient at testing more than one device at a time otherwise the benefits of multi-site testing become less compelling. In our case we have developed a solution for a complex PMIC testing 48 devices in parallel in blazing fast time.

For less complex devices the characteristics drive a different type of test solution. The less complex devices in aggregate tend to run very high volume but there is a much broader product mix that makes up that volume. They also tend to be analog only, short test times and the vast majority of devices in this classification have eight pins or fewer per device. The short test times and relatively lower volume for any one specific device means that being able to test a high number of devices in parallel is not an important requirement. Typically these types of devices are tested a maximum of eight in parallel.

While these devices are less complex they do cover a wide range of voltage and current, source and measure requirements so the test system must be capable of supporting a wide range of technology. They do not, however, require much, if any, digital test capability so the test solution should not be burdened by digital pin infrastructure costs. These devices tend to be very cost sensitive so the test system must scale to the test requirements.

So what are our solutions for testing power management devices? As discussed above a test solution for the different complexities of power management devices is not a one size fits all.

For the lower complexity devices we suggest our ASL/ASLx test platform. The ASL test platform has been a workhorse for these types of devices for over 10 years. The ASLx is the latest product in the ASL product line that extends the capability of the ASL by integrating a subset of technology from our X-Series product. The result is a system that has the following attributes:

            • Ultra low cost solution
            • Huge installed base at OSATs
            • Low operating costs
            • Easy to use development software
            • Wide range of instruments
            • Multi-site capable
Learn more about the ASL platform.

For the more complex devices that integrate both analog and digital technology into an integrated circuit the X-Series is the recommended platform. The X-Series, as does the ASL, have an extensive installed base at both IDMs and OSATs.

The X-Series has a set of features fully aligned with the test requirements for complex power management devices that include:

            • High multi-site capability
            • High performance digital pins with mixed signal formatting
            • Instruments with wide range of power delivery capability
            • Feature rich development software
            • Concurrent test development tools
            • Installed base at OSATs throughout Asia
Learn more about the X-Series test platform.

If you are looking for a solution to test a power management device give us a call. We have the right technology, and the right cost of test profile to benefit your bottom line.

LTXC Solutions Optimized for High Throughput and Performance
  • Test solutions with high parallelism, fast throughput, and 98% multi-site efficiency
  • Unmatched low noise floor for repeatability and improved yields.
  • Scalable configurations economically matching every engineering and production need
  • Wide range of power instrumentation