SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hoping to lower the cost of CMOS image sensor testing, Jova Solutions Inc. has rolled out its next-generation tester.
The ISL-3200 from Jova (San Francisco) is a complete, benchtop-like CMOS image sensor test and measurement system. Geared for both engineering and high-volume applications, the ISL-3200 tests all CMOS image sensors for a fraction of the cost of the big ATE systems in the marketplace, said Doron Simon, chief executive of Jova.
Supporting up to 64-megapixel designs, the ISL-3200 sells for as low as $9,995. In contrast, traditional ATE systems from the likes of Teradyne Inc. and others sell for $500,000.
Besides traditional ATE systems, CMOS image sensor vendors also use other types of equipment to test their products. Some use evaluation boards, while others even build their own test equipment.
Jova claims these in-house solutions are limited amid the growing complexity of CMOS image sensors. In the past, vendors tested simple and discrete image sensor products.
But now, ''there is a new layer of complexity,'' Simon said. This includes the ability to test integrated modules, auto zoom hardware, and integrated video and capture technology, he told EE Times.
"The new ISL-3200, which incorporates feedback from a wide range of our customers, offers (an) approach for engineering to production testing of CMOS and CCD image sensor and camera modules, with real-time image and video testing," said Martin Vasey, vice president of Jova's ISL Business Unit.
The key to the ISL-3200 is a set of instruments within the system, which provide image data rates of up to 16-bit wide per pixel at 100-MHz. The unit includes the following features: sensor voltage and current measurement, image data capture and sensor I2C or SPI communications.
High-speed serial devices, including MIPI/SMIA, can be supported through an adapter board. It also includes 32-to-128 MB of on-board memory and USB 2.0 HS or PCIe connection to a host computer.
The system also consists of so-called Image Sensor Lab application software. The software ''includes a powerful scripting engine for automating common configuration setups or mode changes,'' according to the company.
It also includes an Image Sensor Lab Advanced Analysis Library. This, according to the company, ''is an add-on library of advanced image analysis routines that are tightly integrated into the Image Sensor Lab application software, and includes many of the characterization tests typically performed on image sensors during manufacturing or verification testing.''
The ISL-3200 base unit is available now for $9,995.00 for high-volume purchases. The base unit includes the ISL-3200 hardware with a USB interface and ISL basic application software, which gives users direct control of the ISL-3200 hardware for communicating with and acquiring images from an image sensor. The ISL-3200 Advanced Analysis and the Test and Automation Suite are also available.
Jova also sells products in the biotech arena. Initially released in 2001, Jova Solutions' first product-- FermWorks--is tailored for automated process control and data management in cell culture and fermentation laboratories at biopharmaceutical and biofuels companies.