Direct connection from silicon test hardware to EDA tools for advanced debug

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By Nick Flaherty

SmartShell allows tight integration of the Advantest SmartTest silicon test software with EDA environments such as Tessent Silicon Insight from Mentor. This allows EDA tools to connect to a tester remotely through an online network, send test patterns for execution, modify them and retrieve results and failure information directly instead of going through multiple format conversions.

Traditionally, design engineers create test patterns for scan, JTAG and BIST evaluations from a simulation environment and save them in STIL format. Patterns are then translated to tester-specific formats and executed on automatic test equipment (ATE) before the results are sent back to the design department as STDF or TXT files. This silicon test process can be time consuming, especially if multiple iterations are needed to bring up production test patterns for new deviecs.


The SmartShell software bridge allows external design-verification tools or scripts to send patterns directly to silicon test hardware, execute them, collect results and make modifications as needed, all through a simple set of commands supported for various scripting and programming languages. This significantly shortens the cycle time for a new device’s initial pattern bring-up and enables powerful debugging and data-collection scenarios for internal JTAG (IEEE 1687) and other design-for-test (DfT) technologies.

“By delivering a short and direct path from DfT to ATE, we are helping our customers to master constantly increasing device complexity in less time,” said Ralf Stoffels, Advantest’s vice president of marketing for the V93000. “In addition to developing test solutions that can be applied on the V93000, our T6391 product group is developing a similar software bridge for that platform. At the same time, we are continuing to work very closely with our EDA partners to deliver integrated solutions that can meet all our common customers’ needs.”

“Collaboration with our customers and industry partners like Advantest is critical to solving the complexities of silicon bring-up,” said Brady Benware, senior marketing director for the Tessent product family at Mentor, a Siemens business. “Extending Silicon Insight and ATE-Connect to the Advantest V93000 could reduce silicon bring-up from weeks to days.”

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