ATPG tool for Automotive and Mixed Signal Test


An ATPG tool has been developed to improve productivity for automotive and mixed signal customers developing test programs using the Unison ATE programming environment. Input on feature requirements from users has helped to optimize the usefulness of the tool.

When developing mixed signal test programs, users are often pressured by time constraints to write monolithic sections of code that are poorly documented and difficult to maintain. Graphical “block structured” interfaces in commercial ATE are often perceived to slow-down the process of generating a test program and may be bypassed, losing the potential benefits of these structured templates and integrated graphical debug tools.

The ATPG tool helps to bridge the gap between fast program generation and use of structured graphical tools. It creates the complete infrastructure of a C++ test program from a small number of simple spreadsheet files and incorporates an extensive set of library classes and tools to simplify coding and debugging. By enforcing a clear program structure, it helps the user create a test program that can be easily maintained and extended. Full documentation of the complete test program is also automatically created using doxygen.

The presentation will describe the typical sequence in which the tool can be used and the comprehensive support functions that help with improving test development efficiency.

The first step uses CSV files to define key inputs including pin assignments, test limits, binning and other parameters. Processing these with a Python script generates a C++ test program that can be compiled immediately and which includes:

  • Flow
  • Timing and Levels
  • Patterns
  • Package and Pin definitions for multiple test setups
  • Test Limits (Specs) and Binning

Tests are created using a generic outline template with datalogging included that is ready to compile; these can be edited by the user as required to add test-specific sequences and data. Templates for standard test operations are also provided to improve debug productivity.

Pattern outlines are generated with built-in definitions for triggers used in mixed-signal testing.

Tools are provided to allow incremental changes to an existing program, e.g. to add a new pattern file.

Extensible library modules are included to simplify and unify programming practices and allow the inclusion of user’s standard library functions.

Help text is automatically generated by the tool in a format that can be linked into the standard on-line help that runs alongside the test system software.

Several European automotive and mixed signal IDMs already use this tool. A case study involving NXP will highlight productivity improvements of up to 25% that can be achieved when developing test programs using this tool. Users provided valuable inputs to help guide feature enhancements and maximize the usefulness of the tool. This collaborative effort has helped to improve the efficiency of mixed signal test program, development.

Version: May 2016
Presented by: Frans Mosselveld (Xcerra Corporation), Piet-Jan Kromwijk (NXP)
Presented at: IEEE European Test Symposium