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OptimalTest promises better yields through test management

Posted: 29 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OptimalTest? IC yield? chip yield? IC design? chip design?

Israeli-based startup OptimalTest has launched what it touts as the optimal test software suite for maximizing IC yields through managed test results. The company's OT-TMS product marries automatic test equipment data with business enterprise data to give users a full picture of how test data affects a company's chip yields.

The company, founded in 2005, has been busy applying its principals' extensive experience in software development and semiconductor manufacturing to test management. Its flagship product, OptimalTest's Test Management Solutions (OT-TMS), takes statistical adaptive testing to the next level: optimal test.

"The new Test Management Solutions software product will make real differences in the quality of devices and set new standards for management of IC production, from design through postproduction," said Dan Glotter, co-founder and CEO of OptimalTest.

OptimalTest introduced OT-TMS at the recent International Test Conference (ITC) after what the company described as careful and successful beta testing. Nir Erez, co-founder and COO, said the company was gratified by the cooperation of more than a dozen major semiconductor makers. "Beta testing OT-TMS resulted in some amazing results and enthusiastic feedback," Erez said.

Both co-founders know what it takes to test chips and efficiently manage the test data. Glotter held various managerial positions at Intel Corp. and established Intel's Fab 18 in Israel. Erez's expertise in commercial software development involved helping companies like Microsoft, Intel and General Electric manage their businesses' internal software flow control. Together with Michael Schuldenfrei, OptimalTest's vice president of software development, the founders set out on a mission to optimize the testing of chips.

Adaptive to optimum
In recent years, computerized adaptive testing, which tailors the test to the ability of the test taker, has been applied to the creation and testing of computers, other electronics and semiconductors. Adaptive testing figured prominently at the 2004 International Test Conference, framed in the context of yield enhancement as a key test factor. Traditional design rules don't indicate related yield variations or provide enough statistically valid data for designers to make insightful decisions. It is this lack that OptimalTest hopes to address.

OT-TMS addresses test time reduction, utilization, yield, quality and reliability by enabling measurable improvements in each of those five key areas. The product seamlessly connects OT-TMS modules to a company's business enterprise systems.

At the heart of OT-TMS is OT-Mgr. According to OptimalTest, this module provides integrated and coherent management of the multidisciplinary facets of test operations, enabling advanced generation of testing algorithms. OT-Mgr incorporates OT-Rules, a testing-scenario language with customizable predefined rule templates.

The OT-Sim module enables the simulation of testing rules on actual test results prior to implementation in production. It helps quantify benefits, schedule monitors and execute what-if scenarios for maximum efficiency and return on investment.

The OT-Box module is a real-time, universal station controller for all testers, probers, handlers and test programs. Process- and device-independent, OT-Box executes rules that have been created and simulated, and implements them for wafer sort and final test in real-time or off line.

The OT-Post module performs cross-quality evaluations of the entire testing fleet and all device test time and yield. Finally, the OT-Ops module integrates a set of centralized test-operation solutions that support the need for productive and efficient test management while pinpointing inefficiencies to enable prompt responses.

"Issues of quality, reliability and cost are more critical than ever and require more sophisticated test management," said Glotter.

OT-TMS is available immediately. Pricing depends on module configurations.

- Nicolas Mokhoff
EE Times

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