Leading semiconductor test equipment supplier Advantest Corporation (TSE: 6857, NYSE: ATE) has launched its new T6391 system for testing next-generation display driver ICs (DDIs) and their embedded functions that control high-resolution LCD panels. The new tester is designed to address three key trends in the next-generation DDI market - the growing number of pins on display driver devices, the increasing speeds of interfaces and highly integrated multi-functions - all of which contribute to higher resolution displays.
The highly integrated nature of advanced DDIs presents several unique testing challenges. For example, because the touch-sensor functions of an LCD are integrated in the DDI, there are a large number of logic/analog circuits to test. In the foreseeable future, power-management IC (PMIC) functions also are likely to be folded into the DDI. Additionally, the growing use of LCD panels in mobile applications including smart phones, tablet computers and notebook PCs is driving market demand for smaller device sizes and more capabilities.
Advantest's T6391 is the only test platform able to handle all of these current and projected test requirements. As a member of the established T6300 product family, the new tester leverages the same engineering environment model as the existing base of more than 1,500 previously installed testers in the T6300 series. It uses the same TDL programming language while improving throughput by achieving faster data transfer and calculation.
"Our pin-card design gives DDI manufacturers the best solution on the market for both engineering and production," said Satoru Nagumo, executive officer of Advantest Corporation. "This new tester provides wide coverage for all types of applications including high-pin-count semiconductors, high-speed interfaces, analog circuits, memories and logic devices."
The tester's high-speed bus enables high-throughput testing. With 512 I/O channels, the T6391 is capable of testing multiple chips simultaneously. It can accommodate high-resolution DDIs having as many as 3,584 LCD pins. This is enough to test today's highest pin count LCDs including full high-definition (HD), WXGA and HD720 displays.
The T6391 can handle I/O pin frequencies up to 1.6 gigabits per second (Gbps), allowing it to test LCDs that use MIPI (mobile industry process interface), the standard protocol for mobile electronics. An additional measurement module allows the system to test even faster interfaces up to 6.5 Gbps, which will be used in the LCD drivers for the next generation of ultra-high-definition televisions including the 4K (2160p) generation.
A 16-channel arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) and a digital capture feature provide the ability to test analog ICs. Scan and memory tests of touch-sensor-enabled DDIs can be conducted using the system's scan pattern generator (SCPG), algorithmic pattern generator (ALPG) and algorithmic failure memory (AFM) module.
Production units of the T6391 tester are scheduled to begin shipping to customers by the end of this calendar year.
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