Agilent Announces New Parametric Test Platform

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) introduced its next-generation parametric test platform, which is designed to meet the evaluation needs of engineers working in semiconductor fabs and research environments. The Agilent 4080 Series covers the full range of measurement requirements — from mainstream processes to advanced processes beyond 45nm — with unprecedented performance.

New wafer fabs running advanced processes face ever-greater parametric testing challenges. Flash memory, in particular NAND flash memory, also poses some difficult challenges for parametric test. Out of necessity, parametric test has expanded beyond pure DC measurement, and now spans a variety of different measurement types, including parallel test, flash cell write/erase testing, and RF S-parameter characterization. Anticipating these needs, Agilent has developed the versatile 4080 parametric test platform.

Agilent 4080 Parametric Test PlatformThe Agilent 4080 Series is based on a new platform featuring a faster CPU as well as asynchronous and synchronous parallel test capabilities that enable significant throughput improvement. The 4080 Series is a modular and expandable production test platform that allows customers to easily add new testing capabilities, such as NAND/NOR flash memory cell characterization and RF S-parameter measurement. It is available in three models: the 4082A Parametric Test System for general purpose parametric test; the 4082F Flash Memory Cell Parametric Test System for NAND/NOR flash test; and the 4083A DC/RF Parametric Test System, to meet the high-frequency measurement requirements of modern RF devices.

“As our existing customers expand their current operations or establish new fabs, the 4080 Series will solve the parametric test challenges of their next-generation products,” said Minoru Ebihara, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division. “In addition, we are pleased to provide a production-ready test solution for the continued expansion of the NAND flash memory market.”

Faster CPU and New Virtual Multiple Testhead Technology Boost Performance
The Agilent 4080 Series features best-in-class performance and functionality as well as industry-first technology advancements. The 4080 Series has a more powerful CPU that boosts the throughput of transferred 4070 test plans by 10 to 20 percent on average without any program modification.

The 4080 Series running the Agilent SPECS (Semiconductor Process Evaluation Core Software) test shell is the first parametric tester to support both synchronous and asynchronous parallel test. In addition to synchronous parallel measurement — which is an extremely efficient technique for a small array of devices — Agilent’s new powerful and proprietary virtual multiple testhead technology allows an advanced parallel test capability called “asynchronous parallel” to perform tests completely independently, which can decrease test times by up to 50 percent over conventional sequential test methods.

Unified Architecture with Three Configuration Options
The Agilent 4080 Series is based on a unified architecture. All three models support two types of DC switching matrix cards: a standard low-current version and an ultra low-current version. The models also feature a high-speed capacitance measurement unit (HS-CMU) for making extremely fast capacitance measurements in the 1 kHz to 2 MHz range.

The Agilent 4082A Parametric Test Systems is a high-throughput production tester designed to cover the full range of measurement requirements from mainstream processes to advance processes beyond 45nm.

Designed to meet the challenges of flash memory cell test, the Agilent 4082F Flash Memory Cell Parametric Test System includes a semiconductor pulse generator unit (SPGU) mainframe and high voltage SPGU (HV-SPGU) module that are fully integrated into the system hardware, an industry first for a production parametric test system. The 4082F HV-SPGU features +/- 40 V output (80 V peak-to-peak) and allows control of the pulse rise and fall times (down to 20 ns) and accurate pulse level control down to 2 mV resolution.

The Agilent 4083A DC/RF Parametric Test System is the first production parametric tester to feature a 20 GHz capable 8×10 RF matrix integrated into the test head. With the ability to measure up to five RF structures in a single touchdown, the 4083A RF matrix both improves measurement throughput and extends the lifetime of the probe card by reducing contact wear-and-tear.

Linux Support and 4070 Series Compatibility Minimize Costs
The Agilent 4080 Series system software and Agilent SPECS and SPECS-FA test shells are entirely Linux-based, allowing existing 4070 customers to take advantage of new hardware features on the 4080 Series with minimal modifications to their existing code, which accelerates production ramp-up.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent 4082A, 4082F and 4083A models are available for order now with pricing starting at $200,000 for a base model 4082A.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.0 billion in fiscal 2006.