Volume Production

The EUROPRACTICE partners CMP, Fraunhofer IIS and imec provide customers access to the full production and qualification stage, ranging from low to mid-high volumes. All steps leading to volume production are grouped into five phases:

1. ASIC design
Volume - Asic

Phase 1. ASIC design

 

When working on the ASIC design, customers receive support from EUROPRACTICE with test insertion and ATPG (Automated Test Pattern Generation) to get the highest test coverage. Important know-how from the test house is used to improve the DFT (Design For Testability). As soon as a preliminary layout of the ASIC is ready, EUROPRACTICE can also provide technical support regarding the choice of package type and assembly details.

 

During the tape-out procedure, all circuits are checked against design rule violations with the “golden rule files” from the foundry. As a result, a correct GDS-II database is delivered to the foundry where the prototypes will be fabricated.

2. Prototyping & test
Volume - Prototyping

Phase II. Prototyping & test development

 

After all the checks have been performed and the GDS-II database is ready for production, the foundry can generate masks and produce prototypes via the EUROPRACTICE MPW (Multi Project Wafer) runs or SPW (Single Project Wafer) runs. If required, the resulting prototypes can be packaged by one of the assembly houses within Europe or in the Far East.

 

In parallel with the wafer production, the test solution is developed. The ASICs can be tested on both wafer level as well as packaged devices.

3. First test & characterization
Volume - Correct

Phase III. First test & characterization of the prototype

 

When packaged prototypes are available, they are shipped to the test house for debugging. This procedure includes continuity and leakage tests, the ATPG (Automated Test Pattern Generation) and testing of all analog blocks (when available on the ASIC) at room temperature (RT).

 

When the ASIC is working according to the specifications, further tests are performed at low and high temperature (LT and HT).
The next stage is a full characterization of the ASIC at the edges of the power supply range and frequency at LT, RT and HT.

 

During each test, data logs of the measured values are generated and histograms are sent to the customer together with Cpk data. If required, a failure analysis is performed to understand the reason of the problem.

4. Qualification of the ASIC
Volume - Qualification

Phase IV. Qualification of the ASIC

 

When customers only need prototypes of the ASIC, qualification is not needed. However, when prototypes are working correctly and the customer would like to scale up to volume production, it is the right time to think about the “product qualification”.

 

EUROPRACTICE offers a full qualification service provided by one of the test house partners. The qualification procedure can range from Consumer, Industry or Medical to Space qualification according to Military and JEDEC standards.

 

To speed up the procedure, most of the tests are run in parallel. In this stage of the project, qualification boards are developed for reliability and environmental testing.

5. Volume production & test
Volume - Tests

Phase V. Volume production & test activities

 

Once the ASIC has been qualified, it is ready for volume production. During the ramp-up phase, production and yield are closely monitored.

 

When the ASIC runs into higher volumes, it become reasonable to work on a cost down of the test solution. In this case, the test boards are copied and the originals remain in the developing test house for further monitoring while the copies are distributed to high volume test houses.

Legend:    Customer    Design  Foundry, IP Provider  Assembly  Test

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