Software bridges route from DfT to ATE

Posted By : Mick Elliott
Software bridges route from DfT to ATE

A software bridge, dubbed SmartShell has been introduced by Advantest to enable direct communication between any of its V93000 single scalable platform testers and electronic design automation (EDA) environments such as Tessent Silicon Insight software from Mentor.

EDA tools can now connect to a tester remotely through an online network, send test patterns for execution, modify them and retrieve results and failure information directly instead of going through multiple format conversions.

Traditionally, design engineers create test patterns for scan, JTAG and BIST evaluations from a simulation environment and save them in STIL format.

Patterns are then translated to tester-specific formats and executed on automatic test equipment (ATE) before the results are sent back to the design department as STDF or TXT files.

This process can be time consuming, especially if multiple iterations are needed to bring up production test patterns for new silicon.

The SmartShell software bridge allows external design-verification tools or scripts to send patterns directly to a tester, execute them, collect results and make modifications as needed, all through a simple set of commands supported for various scripting and programming languages.

This significantly shortens the cycle time for a new device’s initial pattern bring-up and enables powerful debugging and data-collection scenarios for internal JTAG (IEEE 1687) and other design-for-test (DfT) technologies.

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