STMicro and Advantest design automated test cell for IC testing

To minimise downtime and cost of ownership, STMicroelectronics and Advantest have combined test equipment, autonomous loading vehicles with control and monitoring software, and claim to improve automation, quality, and yield in semiconductor testing operations.

The semiconductor test equipment supplier and semiconductor provider have jointly developed a fully-automated, final test cell system that improves overall equipment efficiency and quality in semiconductor test and packaging operations.

The test cell comprises Advantest’s T2000 SoC test system and M4841 tri-temp automotive handler, equipped with a fleet of autonomous robotic vehicles (ARVs) programmed to move trays of devices between the material repository and handler. The system is controlled by an ST test cell controller (STCC). The jointly developed test cell incorporates a range of predictive-maintenance and operational features that minimise downtime, ensure full lot traceability and smart re-testing.

The STCC software monitors and controls the tester and handler and interfaces with ST’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES), a real time industry 4.0 tracking system that manages work-in-process and equipment activity across the factory floor. The test cell hardware and software enables fully automated test operations that apply machine learning and smart monitoring to increase yields and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), while reducing the cost of ownership, reports ST.

The M4841 handler incorporates auto speed optimisation, auto socket cleaning, a belt-tension monitoring, an ESD protection, and multiple laser sensors that detect errors and make autonomous corrections.

Projects addressing automation, analytics, and the use of robots are designed to make our manufacturing processes more efficient.

The pilot system has been deployed at ST’s back-end fab in Muar, Malaysia.

STMicroelectronics is an independent device manufacturer, working with customers and partners to design and build products and ecosystems that address their challenges and opportunities, to support a more sustainable world. Its technologies enable smarter mobility, more efficient power and energy management, and the wide-scale deployment of the IoT and 5G technology.

Advantest manufactures automatic test and measurement equipment used in the design and production of semiconductors for applications including 5G communications, the IoT, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and smart medical devices. Its systems and products are integrated into the most advanced semiconductor production lines in the world. The company also conducts R&D to address emerging testing challenges applications, produces multi-vision metrology scanning electron microscopes essential to photomask manufacturing, and offers groundbreaking 3D imaging and analysis tools.

Founded in Tokyo in 1954, Advantest has facilities around the world.

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