ATE standards group widens scope to entire test process

October 23, 2006 – The Semiconductor Test Consortium (STC), main proponent of the Openstar test interface, says it is expanding its scope with a new initiative to enable development of automatic test equipment (ATE) peripheral interface standards.

The group’s expanded initiative includes creation of a “docking and interface” working group (DIWG), joining existing working groups for STIL and probe cards, to enable greater portability of test collateral through higher-level abstraction of user programming, equipment integration, and device interconnect. The DIWG will focus on developing technical definitions and specifications for docking and interfacing of peripheral test equipment (e.g., wafer probers and device handlers) with ATE equipment. Initial DIWG participants include members from Reid-Ashman Manufacturing Inc., Microhandling GmbH, Intel Corp., Infineon Technologies AG, Esmo AG, Analog Devices Inc., and Advantest Corp.

Additional working groups being formed will address formation of a user-level application programming interface (API), instrument portability/abstraction layer, tooling (device interface) abstraction layer, and asynchronous device test interface. The STC stated it will continue to improve the existing set of definitions for its Openstar ecosystem, defining and executing an end-user’s “Test Requirements Roadmap” and a vendor’s “Products Roadmap.” These roadmaps would include many requirements such as test instrument modules, test systems, interfaces, software tools, and support services.

“In addition to validating the STC’s commitment to listen to members and industry thought leaders, today’s announcement demonstrates that we are taking proactive steps to meet these industry needs,” stated Don Edenfeld, STC chairman, noting that the DIWG is expected to be set up by year’s end.

“These new working groups are yet another strong indication that the STC continues to mature and expand in various segments within and around ATE that will benefit the entire semiconductor industry,” stated Bob Helsel, STC manager and secretary.


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