The Future of Test Equipment: Facing Complex Challenges

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The Future of Test Equipment: Facing Complex Challenges

ATE Vision 2020 Workshop Co-Located at SEMICON West this Year

Where is the Automated Test Equipment (ATE) industry heading? Some say into trouble. As Moore's law continues to move forward with denser, faster, and highly heterogeneous devices, the challenges associated with test seem to expand exponentially. How will multiple cores on a die and 3D trends enabled by die-stacking and thru-silicon-vias (TSVs) further complicate the situation? Test insiders wonder if our present technologies are adequate in the short term and what the ATE community should focus on now to deal with issues that will surface in the 2012-2013 timeframe. And what will ATE look like in 2020? What can the industry do now to proactively address possible technology gaps?

The ATE Vision 2020 workshop addresses these issues in a unique way on July 15, 2010 during the SEMICON West exhibition in San Francisco, Calif. The workshop, offered by the IEEE Computer Society, is an informal forum to discuss innovations relevant to ATE developers and users. It encourages speculation and creative brainstorming of problems and issues that ATE developers and users will run into in both the short term and the long term. It’s an opportunity to challenge each other in the world of test.

With ever-increasing test complexity, cost-of-test, and time-to-market pressures, the ATE industry faces significant challenges. To meet these challenges, ATE developers and end-users working together need to innovate in areas such as: shared interconnect technology, streamlined test program generation methods, and better integrated design-for-testability tools.

Representative topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Critical "future-proof" ATE capabilities
  • Test methods for future defects
  • 3D device testing ideas and techniques
  • Power testing needs for Green technology
  • Protocol Aware Techniques
  • High-speed IO Test
  • Insuring test quality while minimizing test cost
  • RF and SOC testing trends
  • Adaptive and concurrent testing challenges
  • Test program generation ideas
  • Ways to streamline our test efforts
  • Killer ATE products ideas

This year’s ATE Vision 2020 workshop chair Erik Volkerink of Verigy commented, “We are grateful to SEMI for hosting this year’s workshop. We believe the workshop focus offers a fine complement to SEMI’s technical program at SEMICON West, and will provide a spirited forum for its international attendees to share information and exchanging perspectives on the future of ATE.”

Committee and program members for ATE Vision 2020 represent: Advantest, Advantest, Broadcom, DFT Microsystems, GeorgiaTech, Inovys, Intellitech, LTX-Credence, MUHMY Systems, Numonyx, NVIDIA, NXP, Roos Instruments, Synopsys, Sun Microsystems, Tsing Hua University, University of New Mexico, University of Texas, and Verigy.

More information (including registration, the Call for Papers and corporate sponsorship information) is available at:

April 6, 2010