Semiconductor Equipment

Aptly named TestScale is designed for scaling production test capacity

09 August 2022

Test system manufacturer Circuit Check has teamed up with National Instruments Corp. (NI) to realize the concept of a portable, standalone test fixture that requires no external equipment to execute a simple functional test. The new product platform, with its customizable modular design that reduces the replication costs of scaling production test capacity, is aptly named TestScale.

TestScale is a portable, standalone text fixture requiring no external equipment to execute a simple functional test. Source: Circuit CheckTestScale is a portable, standalone text fixture requiring no external equipment to execute a simple functional test. Source: Circuit CheckAimed at manufacturers of electronic devices and subassemblies, TestScale combines up to five I/O or power modules with a lightweight backplane that can be mounted in a rack or, ideally, inside a test fixture — removing the need for expensive cabling, mass interconnects and rack space.

Here’s a closer look at each of the components of the TestScale system.

Backplane: An integrated-system simplified backplane connects to a PC though USB. It includes five slots for mixing and matching modules, including programmable power supplies and I/O, plus one slot reserved for the required core module. It is available with options for either rack mounting or in-fixture setup.

Modules: A variety of TestScale modules are available.

  • Power Module: supplies programmable DC power with a full-scale current and voltage range, remote-sense readback and overvoltage, overcurrent and overtemperature protection features.
  • Digital I/O Module: provides bidirectional digital voltage signal capabilities and features two selectable TLL-compliant logic levels.
  • Digital Output Module: provides digital output voltage signal generation, with a voltage level determined by the VAUX input on I/O connectors.
  • An Analog Input Module can also be used for measuring single-ended or differential analog input voltage signals with programmable input ranges, and an Analog Output Module can be used to generate programmable voltage outputs and simultaneous updates on each channel with ± 30 V Ch-COM protection.

Software: Seamless software integration allows custom test tailoring. The NI-DAQmx driver used by the hardware also allows programming in a variety of different languages.

Sean Casey, test system engineering manager at Circuit Check, noted that the system’s small form factor “allows us to design a board that provides PCB routing directly from the instrument to the DUT. This is a cost-effective and scalable design, ideal for high volume test.”

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