As opposed to electrical parametrics, the outputs of these tests are usually pass/fail and the tests are regressed as the device gets improved or respun over time.
To reduce time to market, improve margins and increase customer flexibility, ICs are becoming more firmware heavy. This has resulted in newer versions of the IC being released more frequently to the market. Therefore the need to have more comprehensive automation for validation and regression tests has gone up.
The firmware, the hardware personalities, the chip revision, test environment and specific use cases all adding to the complexity in ensuring a traceable and super-efficient validation cycle. Soliton’s Firmware and API Regression Test Toolbox is the result of studying multiple such projects and assessing what is similar and different about them.
Complex ICs such as RF Transceivers, Bluetooth controllers, etc. often have extensive APIs for the end-customers to interact with these ICs and many of these APIs wrap around complex features that are driven by firmware on the DUT. Every time a new firmware image is released to an IC customer, it is necessary to test that the API library is completely functional in all the calling modes and for both new and old functions.
We have developed efficient tools and processes to automate and speed up Firmware Regression in a way that ensures traceability to the release version, function call and calling mode of the API functions.
In the functional validation use case, these APIs are deployed in a set of test macros that implement most common use cases that customers subject the DUT to. For instance, an RF transceiver may be tested upon each release for things such as calibration settling time, channel to channel leakage, SNR, harmonics, all of which can be influenced by the released firmware image on the DUT.
Soliton’s tools and domain expertise allow for such functional regression testing in an efficient and traceable manner.
System-level characterization use cases
Soliton has hands-on experience on solutions to exercise and characterize system level use cases such as CT image capture for analog front ends, RF signal chain evaluation solutions, RF transceiver
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