National Semiconductor reduces time for test flow creation by 90% and reduces errors with Stone Pillar TestPlanManager


One of the most time consuming tasks in the development of a semiconductor technology is test flow creation. The process of applying dozens of tests to hundreds of devices and creating test programs consumes costly engineering time. In the event that there is a last minute change to the test chip being analyzed, the entire test plan can potentially require re-tooling.

Prior to the availability of Stone Pillar TestPlanManager, this process has been largely unsupported by software tools. TestPlanManager provides intelligent automated test flow creation as part of the complete semiconductor technology development support within Stone Pillar Suite including algorithm library management, procedure scaling, and GUI-based capabilities for applying tests to test chips with the click of a mouse.

According to Mark Poulter, electrical test manager for National Semiconductor's Advanced Process Technology Development Group:

"At National Semiconductor, we are constantly seeking new ways to improve the level of automation used in developing our leading edge analog and mixed signal processes. We have benefited tremendously from the use of Stone Pillar's TestPlanManager in automating our test flow creation."

"With the automated capabilities provided by TestPlanManager, we have reduced the engineering effort for the creation of test flows that previously took a week down to a half day, a savings of 90 percent. TestPlanManager speeds the development of test flows and reduces errors by automating many of the steps that previously had to be painstakingly implemented by hand. Skilled test engineers can now focus on real technological challenges rather than on the administrative tasks of manual data entry that do not add value for technology development."

In addition to automating the time-consuming aspects of test flow creation, TestPlanManager provides the flexibility to target multiple test systems from the same test plan information. This provides users of TestPlanManager with the ability to switch between targeted test equipment with minimal effort, a process that otherwise would require a complete re-work of the test algorithms, procedures, and flows.



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