Press Releases < back to 2005
The new modular interface is used in the testing of SOC devices, making this testing less expensive. It has caught the attention of cost-conscious semiconductor manufacturers.
CHERRY HILL, NJ, September 13, 2005 inTEST® Corporation (Nasdaq: INTT), a world leader in developing and manufacturing equipment used in semiconductor testing, has a major winner on its hands.
The companys Centaur Universal SOC Interface, introduced in late 2004, is becoming more and more popular among customers as word of its outstanding design and low acquisition cost spreads through the semiconductor industry, according to Dale Christman, inTEST Silicon Valleys General Manager.
The novel Centaur concept has led to multiple design wins for us, said Christman. Demand for the Centaur SOC has been particularly strong in the United States and Asian markets, especially with some of the worlds largest IDMs (Integrated Device Manufacturers) and among Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) subcontractors. It is striking to see how this extraordinarily flexible design can boost test floor performance in such a variety of standard and custom applications.
The Centaur Universal SOC Interface is used in the testing of the SOC (System on a Chip) devices used in todays computer, communications, and consumer markets.
According to Christman, the innovative interface can make testing less expensive across a wide range of SOC implementations. These include DVD chips, high-speed MCUs, RF one-chip (PLL, modem) devices for CDMA and GSM handsets, hard-disk read/write ICs, and multi-core game console chip-sets, among many others.
The Centaur design is modular, so a company can buy only the modules it specifically needs today. Over time, if additional capability is required, the company can simply buy the appropriate additional modules, rather than buying a whole new interface. This reduces the initial acquisition cost, which is so important when budgets are tight. explained Christman. The entire time, the customer keeps their interface truly state-of-the-art, but they do it in small, economical steps.
The Centaur also saves money by eliminating the need for an expensive Blind and Buried Via PIB. The signal modules in a conventional interface are arranged in a radial pattern. This standard radial pattern is not an ideal match with the special rectangular format used in SOC testers, such as the Agilent 93000, the Teradyne FLEX family, and the Credence Sapphire. This format mismatch forced a very costly solution: using a Blind and Buried Via PIB instead of a regular PIB to make the connection between the interface and the SOC tester.
According to Christman, the new Centaur Universal SOC Interface gets rid of this costly Blind and Buried Via PIB in most applications. The Centaurs signal modules are oriented to fit the SOC testers rectangular format, so a far less expensive, regular PIB can be used during testing, explained Christman.
The Centaurs fast-growing popularity may have something to do with tight budgets, but it is also driven by the tester interfaces remarkably distortion-free electrical performance. Christman explained that the Centaurs innovative Transpar signal modules deliver extraordinary signal fidelity, virtually eliminating frequency-dependent losses. The result, according to Christman, is an interface that is practically transparent to test signals.
For additional information about inTESTs Centaur Universal SOC Interface, contact inTEST at 856-424-6886.
About inTEST® Corporation
inTEST Corporation is an independent designer, manufacturer and marketer of ATE interface solutions and temperature management products, which are used by semiconductor manufacturers to perform final testing of integrated circuits (ICs) and wafers. The Companys high-performance products are designed to enable semiconductor manufacturers to improve the speed, reliability, efficiency and profitability of IC test processes. Specific products include positioner and docking hardware products, temperature management systems and customized interface solutions. The Company has established strong relationships with semiconductor manufacturers globally, which it supports through a network of local offices. For more information visit www.intest.com.
inTEST, Centaur, Centaur Universal SOC Interface, and Transpar are trademarks of inTEST Corporation
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