Test & Measurement Application Case Study - Data Acquisition Electronics / Device Testing

Test & Measurement Applications

Network Integrated Circuit (IC) Testing

Customer Case

A customer makes Integrated Circuit (IC) chips that are used in home network systems. These systems can communicate with many different electronic devices by using the standard 120 Volt, 60 Hz AC household wiring to transmit signals throughout the house. This eliminates the need for extra wiring.

They need to test their IC chips before selling them to the company who builds the network systems. They need to test the bit failure rate, the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), chip sensitivity and noise indifference.

For these tests, they require a programmable analog stimulus generator to excite circuit elements and a programmable digitizer to capture the response. Both instruments require at least 10-bit resolution to characterize small signal features and must work at clocking speeds of up to 50 MHz.

The ideal solution will be housed in an existing Windows-based PC, equipped with automated IC manipulators. The customer would like to quickly develop a C program to control testing.

GaGe Case Solution

GaGe can provide both hardware elements required to test their IC chips: a function generator card and a data acquisition card. The CompuGen 1100 is an analog output (D/A) card with 12-bit vertical resolution that is capable of clocking out analog patterns at up to 80 MHz. The CompuScope 12100 is a 12-bit A/D and scope card capable of sampling at up to 100 MegaSamples per second. With these two PC-based instrument cards, the customer will be able to generate a signal to simulate excitation signals and capture the response signal from the chip. 8 MegaSamples of on-board memory on both cards allows generation and capture of signals clocked at 50 MHz continuously for a duration of over 150 milliseconds.

Using GaGeScope PC Oscilloscope Software to control the hardware, the customer can quickly set-up a prototype system and demonstrate its effectiveness by analyzing stored data files. After proof of concept, the customer will use GaGe's powerful Software Development Kits to construct a fully-automated Windows utility, written in C, that controls all GaGe hardware, along with the customer's IC manipulators. The utility will measure and display the SNR of the chip, the chip's sensitivity and noise indifference. These values are used as Pass/Fail criteria for the IC chips.

GaGe is the only company able to provide a complete instrument solution to the requirement. With GaGe's D/A and A/D cards that function under the same oscilloscope software, the customer will quickly have a working prototype, without having to write a single line of code.

GaGe Case Recommended Products

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