Semiconductor Test Consortium Publishes STIX Terminology Specifications

The Semiconductor Test Consortium, Inc. (STC), the leading proponent of the development and adoption of value-added open test standards that benefit the semiconductor industry, announced that its Docking & Interface Working Group (DIWG) has published the first draft of terminology specifications for the Semiconductor Test Interface eXtensions (STIX(TM)) initiative. In addition, the consortium also announced it will be organizing several key activities related to the STIX initiative at the International Test Conference (ITC) on October 23rd to the 25th in Santa Clara, California. Activities include working group meetings, as well as a booth presence and the annual consortium dinner event. Both efforts build on the already strong momentum around the STIX initiative — aimed at addressing rising cost and efficiency challenges in the automatic test equipment (ATE) arena, through the collaborative efforts of companies spanning the semiconductor supply chain.

Successful standardization of terminology specifications promises to increase supply chain efficiencies and reduce the risks arising from miscommunications between design, manufacturing, sales and purchasing personnel. Moving quickly after their first meeting in January of this year the Docking & Interface Working Group established standard terminologies in the most critical, interface-related areas, including the X-Y-Z axes with respect to testhead orientation, convention for contact sight numbering, minimum set of docking interface connections, and defining the various interface levels for the testhead, loadboard, contactor and handler. In order to tackle such a wide range of subjects expeditiously the group split into five task-force teams — prober, handler, docking and interface, tester and manipulator. Their cooperation and fast results validate the multi-company process the STC is taking to realize the broader goals of the entire STIX initiative.

“The Docking & Interface Working Group showcases the impressive progress being realized at STC by leveraging cohesive multi-national working groups on a regional basis,” said Bob Helsel, STC manager. “To quickly tackle the full scope of their project, five teams were established from 24 working group members representing 14 companies. Efforts were coordinated and initial results published in less than a year. This level of cooperation and progress highlights the commitment the test industry is making to the STIX initiative. It also illustrates that important, long-term test challenges are being addressed effectively by working in the open and collaborative structure of the Semiconductor Test Consortium.”

As another part of its comprehensive efforts to drive collaborative solutions around automatic test equipment issues, which impact the global semiconductor industry, the STC will be organizing several activities at the International Test Conference. A university working group meeting will be held on October 22nd from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time to be followed almost immediately by the annual consortium dinner event at 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A Standard Test Interface Language (STIL) working group meeting will also be held on October 24th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Central Room. In addition, the STC will be engaged in activities at its exhibit booth #412. Editors interested in meeting with the STC during the show may contact Angie Kellen by phone: 650.968.8900.

About the STIX Initiative
The Semiconductor Test Interface eXtensions initiative is designed to foster pre-competitive collaboration across the global semiconductor test supply chain, as part of a comprehensive and unified effort to deliver ATE interface standards. It encompasses both open hardware and software specifications for all peripheral areas around the ATE, regardless of tester architecture or vendor. By standardizing these interfaces, integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) service providers can benefit by gaining higher equipment utilization and easier line balancing. In addition, equipment suppliers can benefit by reducing the need for redundant research and development (R&D) efforts in non-differentiating product areas.

About the Semiconductor Test Consortium
The Semiconductor Test Consortium was founded in 2003. Open to all companies throughout the semiconductor supply chain with a vested interest in the test sector, the consortium is focused on the following goals: formalizing a broadened STC scope with new working groups and specification structure; fostering pre-competitive collaboration among industry participants toward development of value-added standards; emphasizing the value of work being accomplished and the contributions to the industry; and continuing efforts to fully enable the STC Ecosystem, through its OPENSTAR(R) and STIX initiatives. Today, 44 semiconductor, equipment and instrumentation companies worldwide and 40 university members in Europe, Japan, China and the United States, and 16 individuals support the STC.

STIX and OPENSTAR are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Semiconductor Test Consortium.