Winchester, UK - Mentor Graphics Corporation has outlined its new strategy to help customers address the growing test challenges they face in moving to smaller process nodes and more complex, low-power, mixed-signal systems-on-chip (SOCs).
As part of this strategy, Mentor is planning to unite the company's award-winning embedded compression and automatic test pattern generation (ATPG) technology with the leading built-in self-test (BIST) technology from recently acquired LogicVision into a new product line, called Tessent. The Tessent line claims to be the industry's most comprehensive set of design-for-test and silicon test solutions, and also includes LogicVision's SiliconInsight product, Mentor's layout-aware diagnosis tools and the newly announced Tessent YieldInsight product to provide solutions for post-silicon test characterization and yield analysis.
Mentor recognizes that various drivers are making design-for-test (DFT) and implementation of production test much more difficult than in the past. SOCs designed for 45nm processes and below with low power requirements, embedded microprocessors and memory, as well as analog circuitry and high-speed serial I/O, pose some extremely difficult test challenges. As a result, customers are taking longer to plan, implement, and bring up tests for their new ICs, and production test times and costs are increasing. Moving to smaller nodes also increases design sensitivity to normal manufacturing variability, introducing systematic failure mechanisms that are difficult to find using traditional failure analysis techniques. This can lead to a slower ramp-to-volume production and reduced profitability.
Mentor's Tessent product line seeks to address the new challenges with a coherent, interoperable suite of products that combine the best features of deterministic scan test, embedded pattern compression, and BIST. Mentor claims to offer the most comprehensive range of test capabilities, which extends across all types of IC elements (logic, memory, analog I/O), all phases of test design and implementation (test definition, RTL insertion, test verification, test bring-up, silicon characterization, wafer test, and package test), and all test methodologies (ATPG, embedded compression, BIST, boundary scan, memory repair, test failure diagnosis, yield analysis).
In the future Mentor's BIST offerings will be based on the former LogicVision platform and the ATPG offerings on Mentor's TestKompress and FastScan platform.
Although some of Mentor's former BIST products and LogicVision's former ATPG products will be discontinued, the company says they will continue to be supported for existing customers until they transition to the new products. Mentor also plans to continue to invest and develop mixed-signal BIST technologies for SerDes high-speed I/O and PLL testing, as well as the SiliconInsight product line developed at LogicVision. Additionally, Mentor will continue to improve the level of interoperability of all Tessent products, to expand the Tessent integration flow to support the latest design flows and styles, and to add more functionality to address specific emerging challenges related to test.
Joseph Sawicki, vice president and general manager for the Design-to-Silicon Division at Mentor Graphics, said: "The combination of Mentor`s market-leading scan-based test and yield analysis products, and the LogicVision BIST solutions, puts us in the top spot across the board in silicon test. We plan to grow from that position of strength by taking the newly branded Tessent line broader and deeper, and continuing to provide the industry`s most complete and unified solution for silicon test, diagnosis and yield analysis."
Peter Zdebel, senior vice president and CTO at ON Semiconductor, said: "ON Semiconductor is committed to utilizing best-in-class ATPG and BIST technologies for product development. We are enthusiastic about the benefits that the single integrated product line from Mentor Graphics offers. We have a longstanding relationship with Mentor in the DFT/ATPG arena that we value and will continue to foster. We look forward to utilizing Mentor's expanded silicon test and yield analysis product-line to provide our customers with world-class products."
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