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Collaboration helps reduce risk and cost for production test of 5G mmWave ICs

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NI, provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement systems, has announced and demonstrated a 5G mmWave wafer probe test solution it developed in collaboration with Tokyo Electron, FormFactor and Reid-Ashman.

Addressing the technical challenges associated with 5G mmWave wafer probe test, the demonstrated solution can help semiconductor manufacturers reduce their risk, cost and time to market for 5G mmWave ICs. New mmWave frequencies are challenging the signal integrity of conventional probe techniques, which consist of a probe interface board (PIB), probe tower and probe card. NI, TEL, FormFactor and Reid-Ashman collaborated to demonstrate a direct dock probe solution that simplifies the signal path, provides the necessary signal integrity for mmWave applications and supports both top and bottom load probe applications.

A key element of the solution is the NI Semiconductor Test System (STS), and NI recently demonstrated a multisite mmWave test solution for 5G power amplifiers, beamformers and transceivers. A key benefit of the solution is the modularity that allows reuse of software and baseband/IF instrumentation with modular mmWave radio heads to address current and future mmWave frequency bands of interest.

The solution features

TEL PrecioTM XL automatic wafer prober optimised for parallel die test with highly accurate x-, y-, and z-axis control for reliable contact sensitivity

NI STS for 5G mmWave test with direct dock probe support

A FormFactor Pyramid-MW probe card for superior RF signal integrity and long contactor life in production test environments

Reid-Ashman OM1700 universal manipulator with motorised motion for efficient, repeatable and product-safe docking

“We believe that our early collaboration with leading wireless chipmakers, test cell integration partners, OSATs and the 5G research community has positioned us to be the lowest risk option for mmWave 5G production test,” said Dr. Kevin Ilcisin, vice president of Corporate Strategy at NI. “This is the latest example of NI’s commitment to prioritising investments to maximise the value we deliver to our customers as they race to address critical industry challenges.”

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