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High-Performance Test Handler for SoC Devices

Advantest-M487112 December 2013 - Advantest launched its newest test handler for system-on-chip (SoC) devices, the field-upgradable M4871 pick-and-place system. The handler integrates Advantest’s proven technology from the company’s existing product lines with advanced, new functions including visual alignment with high throughput, active thermal control using Advantest’s Tri-Temp capability and a new handler data visualization framework that enables users to conduct real-time monitoring of a test cell’s production status from any network-enabled connection.

“With our new handler, we can supply customers with fully integrated SoC test cells,” said Hiroki Ikeda, FA (factory automation) division manager of Advantest Corporation.  “This reaffirms our commitment to providing the semiconductor industry’s most cost-effective, high-performance and flexible test solutions.”

The new M4871 handler’s visual-alignment capability helps to improve test yields and reduce cycle times.  With positioning accuracy to within 0.3 mm ball/pad pitch, the system is ideally suited to handle fine-pitch devices as well as semiconductors with both top- and bottom-side contacts.  Precision alignment also enables faster set-up and calibration, helping to increase productivity.

By minimizing downtime, the M4871 handler can provide users with 20 or more additional hours of productive testing time per month, improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and reducing the cost per device.  For example, downtime from potential jams can be held to minimal clearing time using the system’s new thermal technology “dual-fluid design.”  In comparison, chamber-based handlers can require 60 minutes or more to cool down the chamber, clear a jam and then ramp back up to operating temperature.

In addition, the defrosting cycle time for low-temperature testing is dramatically reduced with the M4871 system, which can operate over a broad range of temperatures.  The handler can run at -10˚ C for up to 14 days without defrosting.  This reduces the need for this scheduled maintenance step to approximately twice a month whereas existing handlers that use liquid nitrogen can require defrosting 10 or more times per month.  When defrosting is needed, Advantest’s new handler can complete the cycle in less than 10 minutes compared to two hours or more for other systems on today’s market.

The M4871’s basic configuration uses 8X parallelism to achieve total throughput of up to 8,000 devices per hour.  Installed handlers can be upgraded in the field to boost parallelism as high as 32X, accommodate higher-pin-count devices, reduce power consumption for temperature control, lower the cost of change-over kits and achieve other performance enhancements.

Advantest’s new M4871 handler is scheduled to begin shipping to customers in the first quarter of calendar year 2014.

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