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Aeroflex-AX520Characterization and Production Test of RF and Mixed Signal Semiconductors

27 July 2011 — Aeroflex launched the AX-Series, a completely new product line for characterization and production testing of consumer RF and mixed-signal semiconductors. The AX-Series is designed for consumer Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs) and fabless semiconductor manufacturers who develop cost-sensitive integrated circuits (ICs) and need less expensive test systems to perform critical characterization and production testing.

The products of the AX-Series are based on industry standard AXIe and PXI modules and are available as turnkey systems or configurable subsystem modules for customers who prefer to build or augment their own ATE systems.

“The AX-Series leverages a growing portfolio of AXIe modules and couples those Aeroflex Announces Multiple Products for Characterization and Production Test with a large selection of PXI modules to address a growing gap in the market. Today’s production ATE systems are overkill for silicon debug and characterization in terms of pin count, size, and pricing. Existing PXI-only ATE systems support limited channel counts and performance. The AX-Series addresses this gap with industry standards based ATE performance spanning the complete range of DC, digital, mixed-signal, and RF requirements,” said Len Borow, CEO, Aeroflex Incorporated.

The AX-Series includes numerous products spanning a range that extends from cost-effective benchtop semiconductor characterization systems to high-volume production test systems. The complete product line offers traditional semiconductor ATE performance for labs in a low-cost form factor—and enables the development of lowcost production test systems for RF and mixed signal ICs and modules.

Target customers for the AX-Series include IDMs and fabless semiconductor companies who are:

• Developing consumer RF and mixed-signal ICs and/or modules;

• Have device complexity that requires ATE performance in the engineering lab for debug and characterization;

• Require low cost structure and flexibility that AXIe and PXI solutions offer; and,

• Adding on to their existing ATE systems to extend the life of their ATE capital equipment.

RF devices targeted by the AX-Series include discretes, power amplifiers, frontend modules, tuners, RFID, Near Field Communication (NFC), Zigbee®, Bluetooth®, WLAN, and transceivers. Consumer mixed-signal devices targeted include wired communications, audio/video, interface, modems/CODECs, microcontrollers, and MEMs.

“Customers will see improved engineering productivity, lower capital costs, and lower cost of ownership with systems powerful enough to address their needs,” said Ron Williamson, product manager, Aeroflex Test Solutions.

System Configurations, Price, and Availability

Turnkey integrated systems are available in several different configurations and leverage industry standard AXIe and PXI chassis.

• The WRX is a turnkey 20 slot PXI RF system which supports typical configurations of 2 to 16 bi-directional vector ports that capable of performing Sparameters, continuous wave (CW), multi-tone, and full modulation to 6 GHz on each port.

• The AX500 is a 5 slot AXIe system which supports typical configurations of 12- 48 device power supplies and 48-192 400 MB digital pins.

• The AX520 is a combination 5 slot AXIe + 20 slot PXI system which supports 12-48 device power supplies, 48-192 400 MB digital pins, and 2-16 RF ports.

• The AX1020 & AX1040 are 10 slot AXIe and 20/40 slot PXI systems which support 12-96 power supplies, 48-384 400 MB digital pins, and 2-32 RF ports.

The AX-Series of test systems are based on widely adopted development tools augmented with system level multi-site support, calibration, and production tools. The AX-Series systems are also compatible with AXIe and PXI instrument cards and software from third party suppliers.

The AX-Series is a highly configurable product line and each system price will vary depending upon instruments and accessories ordered.

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