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Advantest enters Market for Test of Protocol-Based Flash Storage

29 July 2013 - Advantest has entered the market for testing advanced PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 NVMe solid-state drives (SSDs) for enterprise and consumer applications with the versatile NEO-SSD platform, on which the company is building a family of test solutions that are scheduled to begin shipping to customers in the fourth quarter of this calendar year.

The configurable NEO-SSD platform, capable of supporting multiple protocols, addresses SSD system-level test requirements by providing a wide range of test capabilities, including engineering validation, design verification, reliability demonstration and production testing.

SSD production volumes are projected to grow by a factor of 5X to over 200 million units by 2017, according to industry research firm Gartner. With the market in its early stages of widespread adoption and both device protocols and test strategies still being refined, effective test solutions must deliver high performance and flexibility.

The NEO-SSD platform uses Advantest’s Tester-per-DUT architecture, enabling customers to balance cost and performance to meet their specific needs. The system is designed to handle a variety of form factors, such as drives and cards, as well as multiple protocols, including the PCIe 3.0 interface. As the emerging bus standard for data centers, desktop computers, ultrabooks and mobile electronics, PCIe is creating a disruption in the test market by requiring several versions of new protocol support (such as PCIe NVMe, AHCI, UFS and SAS), higher bus speeds at full performance and more control over device power supplies. This creates demand for efficient multi-protocol test solutions with the scalability and cost effectiveness to enable high-volume production of high-quality SSDs.

“NEO-SSD allows us to develop the first truly scalable, platform-based solutions for SSDs, incorporating high-performance testing, fast operating speed and high signal integrity at a very low cost of test,” said Colin Ritchie, vice president of GTRI, Advantest America.  “Using our Tester-per-DUT architecture, NEO-SSD testers won’t have to share resources.  This enables breakthrough enterprise performance and quality without sacrificing cycle time or test coverage.”

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