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Agilent's array tester targets ultrahigh-resolution panels

Posted: 17 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Agilent? ATS-620 Array Test System? amorphous silicon TFT array?

ATS-620 Array Test System

Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced a test system that features a 33 percent increase in data channels for testing amorphous silicon TFT arrays typically used in large, flat-panel televisions and computer displays.

By offering 7,680 channels per test head, Agilent said it can test today's ultrahigh-resolution panels and is prepared to test even higher resolution screens in the future. With the Agilent 88000 Series ATS-620 Array Test System, the company said manufacturers can cut costs and lower total average cycle time in volume production by either testing more panels in parallel, or testing higher-resolution screens.

The new test system supports seventh- and eighth-generation glass fabrication lines and beyond, and promises multisite test and superior defect detection. Using four test heads, multiple gate activation and 15,360 data channels, the system is able to achieve the fastest a-Si TFT testing throughput, Agilent said. Since picture quality is a major competitive differentiator for flat-panel-display TV and PC monitor makers, the test system was designed to handle the most cutting-edge processes for creating high-picture-quality panels with complex pixel structures.

"The ATS-620's remarkable advances in throughput and depth of analysis allow users to test four high-quality panels at the same time," said Minoru Ebihara, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division. "Also, the greater number of test channels means that users can test emerging higher-resolution products such as QUXGA wide screens in the future."

The test system enables electrical testing of all pixels and subpixels covering transistor, capacitor, electrode and bus lines, and prevents any defective pixels in the a-Si TFT array manufacturing process from entering the next phase of production. By automatically checking the TFT characteristics and the open/short status of the lines and pixels, the test system is able to accurately determine the defect mode, said the company, resulting in a large increase in yield, an improvement in manufacturing productivity and a significant reduction in test costs. The ATS-620 is a complete test solution, including hardware, software services and application consulting.

The ATS-620 is currently available, with prices ranging from $1.5 million to $2 million, depending on application and configuration.

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