Transforming Wafer and Package Level Reliability Testing with Soliton

Read on to learn more about Soliton’s contribution to transforming the wafer and package level reliability testing of a prominent semiconductor company by overcoming an outdated framework, streamlining processes, enabling device-agnostic scripts, and boosting overall efficiency, which resulted in a tangible impact for the customer.


In semiconductor manufacturing, the chip is subjected to numerous tests to ensure its optimal functioning, interoperability, and efficiency. Of these tests, reliability testing serves as a rigorous and essential process that examines the chip’s longevity and durability by subjecting it to diverse conditions. 

Beyond the conventional evaluation of the chip as a whole, various insights can be inferred by subjecting the chip to a series of meticulously designed tests at both wafer and package levels. This intricate process requires robust applications for creating test plans, configuring devices under test (DUTs), and executing and analyzing tests that lead to efficient testing at a package or wafer level.   

 

Evolutionary Milestones that Hindered Reliability Testing 

Continuous improvement, enhancement, and scalability are crucial aspects any industry would look for in this modern technological landscape. Especially with semiconductor companies, upgrading their systems to adapt to cutting-edge technologies can play a pivotal role in the overall process and workflow.One of our esteemed customers, a renowned Fortune 500 semiconductor company, had a similar vision for enhancing its reliability testing process.  

In the midst of refining their reliability testing methodologies, they wanted to enhance their internally developed framework built atop an outdated technology for setting up and executing test scripts. This framework, a testament to their dedication to overcoming obstacles, encountered certain hurdles as testing landscapes evolved. 

Moreover, this outdated framework was built to address the testing obstacles of its time, and as the use cases evolved, along with testing complexities, the customer felt the need to upgrade to a more scalable system.  Here is an overview of the aspects that recommended an upgrade by the customer: 

Upgrade to the Framework: The customer’s existing framework, while once groundbreaking, faced limitations in functionality and community support, ushering in the need for modernization. 

Efficiency in Scaling: As the chip complexity increased, the need for testing multiple DUTs simultaneously in a shorter time became paramount. Acknowledging this, the customer wanted to ensure the seamless scalability of testing processes to overcome the limitations of the existing framework. 

From Device-Specific to Device-Agnostic: The customer wanted to make their framework to be device-agnostic to seamlessly adapt to the diverse hardware configurations and effectively reuse the engineering effort in designing the test routines.

Data Retrieval and Insights Generation Requirement: The customer also wanted timely data retrieval and visualization capabilities to draw insights from the extensive data, which proved to be pivotal for an enhanced workflow.The existing system will provide test results only after the full test is completed, which could take many hours to many days. Additionally, false failures result in tremendous loss of time and repeated data collection.  

 

Transforming Reliability Testing with Soliton 

While the customer wanted to upgrade their current framework and tools for reliability testing, they were in the pursuit of seeking a partner that would align with and complement their futuristic vision.  Given our experience in developing large test systems in the test and measurement industry, Soliton seemed to be a perfect fit for them.  

Soliton’s primary objective was to deliver a flexible framework, empowering users to build and deliver test scripts seamlessly. 

The collaboration between Soliton and the customer led to strategic changes that revolutionized operational efficiency. One of our goals was to retain the features of the existing software/framework and build a scalable solution on top of it which resulted in more profound solutions. Some of the key solutions implemented included:  

Building the Foundation on LabVIEW: A new framework was constructed from scratch using LabVIEW that empowered the customer to write tests in a simpler way compared to the previous framework while incorporating enhancements to seamlessly scale up functionalities. 

Enabling System and Device-Agnostic Scripts: Our solution enabled system and device-agnostic scripts, eliminating the need to create and configure individual scripts for diverse sets of devices under test. This streamlined approach enhances flexibility and reduces repeated engineering effort. 

Operator-friendly Tools allowing Minimal Intervention: Our streamlined framework enhances testing with an operator-friendly diagnostic tool and a live dashboard, empowering engineers with a comprehensive setup guide for real-time visualization. Additionally, it also enables automation, supporting remote job scheduling with minimal operator intervention, ensuring autonomous operation for extended durations.

Efficient Data-Retrieval : Our approach also classified and automated data consolidation to the central server, facilitating easy access and efficient retrieval.  

 

Some Measurable Impact with Soliton’s Solutions 

The collaborative efforts between the customer and Soliton yielded tangible outcomes, showcasing a transformative impact on operational efficiency: 

 

In summary, the partnership with Soliton marks a transformative chapter in semiconductor reliability testing for the customer. From building on the legacy framework and process to ushering in a new cutting-edge innovation in LabVIEW, our collaboration has streamlined processes for engineers.   

Explore our “Case Studies” section for more transformative success stories showcasing Soliton’s strategies and insights for overcoming obstacles and driving efficiency.   

 

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