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Hua Hong NEC and Advantest Develop Wafer-Level Test Solution for RFID Devices

02 July 2012 - Shanghai Hua Hong NEC Electronics and Advantest have collaborated to successfully develop a wafer-level, multi-site parallel test solution for radio-frequency identification (RFID) semiconductor devices that meet industry-standard ISO 14443 guidelines. This new test methodology is now being used to improve the cost efficiency of volume-production testing at Hua Hong NEC and, most importantly, has already met with approval from the foundry’s key customers.

By leveraging Hua Hong NEC’s advanced production processing and test development capabilities in smart card and information security applications and the highly efficient performance of Advantest’s T2000 test platform, the jointly developed test solution provides fast accurate recognition and feedback for cost-effectively testing current and future generations of RFID devices.

RFID devices that comply with ISO 14443 standards are divided into two types: Type A and Type B.  The major difference between them is in the modulation/demodulation for the 13.56 MHz carrier wave.  When in use, a proximity coupling device (PCD) sends a carrier signal at 13.56 MHz to the RFID device.  The RFID device’s antenna receives the signal wave, which carries both transmitted data and the power that drives the RFID device.  The RFID device then sends a return signal carrying response data back to the PCD.  In this way, information is communicated between the PCD and the RFID.  However, crosstalk among RFID devices during wafer-level testing can result in reduced production yields and low productivity.

The new test solution uses a high signal quality, anti-crosstalk interface and an optimized algorithm within the test program to minimize the bit error rate and perform multi-site parallel testing.  This methodology is currently being used in mass production to test 32 RFID sites in parallel – the highest parallelism in the industry.  The next-generation solution under development by Hua Hong NEC and Advantest will be capable of 64-site parallelism to meet the testing needs for future RFID devices.

“Hua Hong NEC and Advantest have a long-term history of cooperation,” said Mr. Xu Wei, vice president of Hua Hong NEC.  “Based on the mutual efforts of test development teams from our two companies, we are successfully solving the bottleneck issue of RFID testing efficiency.  The results we are achieving represent important leaps forward in RFID testing by establishing a solid base and paving the way for RFID devices’ cost-efficient mass production using this multi-site test method.”

“Throughout our 50-year history, Advantest has always been dedicated to delivering leading-edge products and solutions to our valued customers,” said Mr. Xu Yong, president of Advantest China.  “We are honored to provide our most advanced testers and applications support services to Hua Hong NEC to help them create a one-stop test solution for our common customers.  Already, customers are acknowledging the value of this new approach and its superior performance in improving RFID testing efficiency, which enables our customers to become more cost competitive in their markets.”

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