Start date: 13 September 2023
Duration: 15 Weeks, 13 Sept - 20 Dec 23
Location: Mainly online* course, 4 hours/week lectures, labs & tutorials + self-directed learning hours
Certificate: 9 ECTS
Cost: Members € 1150; Non-members € 1,725
Course code: N/A
This 15-week CPD module will have a specific focus towards analog and mixed signal Integrated Circuit (IC) test. The role of the test engineer is becoming ever more diverse with activities that link into design and IC fabrication. In this course, the role of test and test development engineering will be introduced and discussed in relation to their integration within a modern semiconductor company. The actions undertaken within the role of test will be discussed, and the types of tests undertaken to identify the operation of analog and mixed signal ICs will be elaborated. The course will commence in week 1 with a 1-day on-campus session followed by 11 weeks of online learning through lectures, laboratories, and tutorial sessions. There will be 2 weeks of project work followed by a 1-day on-campus session for project presentation and course assessment in week 15.
Participants will need to provide their own Windows laptop (with a minimum of 16 GB of RAM).
Laboratory hardware will be provided.
Software required for the laboratory work can be downloaded (no license required).
Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)
1. Discuss how electronic circuits and systems are tested.
2. Examine failure mechanisms in electronic circuits and systems.
3. Describe how test programs are developed for analog and mixed signal Integrated Circuits (ICs)
Affective (Attitudes and Values)
1. Show the need for effective testing procedures and the impact of decisions on test quality and cost.
2. Acknowledge the need to develop high quality and cost-effective test procedures within an organization.
3. Discuss how real-world non-ideal electronic circuit behavior will affect the test results obtained during test program operation
Psychomotor (Physical Skills)
1. Test analog and digital circuits using simulation models and physical prototypes.
2. Perform tests on a mixed signal IC and analyze the results.
3. Deliver test results in a suitable manner
Who is the course for?
This module is aimed at meeting Continued Professional Development (CPD) needs for practicing engineers in test and test development within the semiconductor industry.
Basic Python knowledge recommended – equivalent to level thought on MIDAS Skillnet Python 3 Intro course.
*Blended learning approach with initial and final on-campus days, and otherwise online 4 hours / week of lectures, laboratories, and tutorials:
Online briefing session: Wednesday 6th September (4:00 – 5:00 pm)
On-campus day: Wednesday 13th September (10:00 am – 4:15 pm)
Weekly online sessions on Wednesdays (1:30 – 6:00 pm): Wednesday 20th September – Wednesday 29th November (lectures (1:30 – 3:30 pm), laboratory (4:00 – 5:00 pm), and tutorial (5:00 – 6:00 pm)
Online project briefing sessions: Wednesday 6th and Wednesday 13th December (4:00 – 5:00 pm)
On-campus day: Wednesday 20th December (10:00 am – 4:15 pm)
IC technology: Overview of IC technology: fabrication; overview of IC technology: failure mechanisms; mixed signal IC measurements; functional vs. structural testing (performance vs. functional).
Software coding techniques: Good test coding practices; importance of good coding techniques (e.g., code reuse); software tools.
Mixed signal IC measurement (Digital): Datasheet review, performance specifications and measurement techniques for various digital blocks. How to validate a measurement to ensure that it is correct. Terminology. Correlation. Reproducibility. Overview of digital logic, memory, DFx and BIST. Digital circuit test considerations.
Mixed signal IC measurement (Analog): Datasheet review, performance specifications and measurement techniques for various analog blocks. How to validate a measurement to ensure that it is correct. Terminology. Correlation. Reproducibility. Overview of analog circuits, DFx and BIST. Analog circuit test considerations.
Measurement engineering: Measurement engineering roles: Test development; goals of test development; test hardware/equipment. Design evaluation; goals of design evaluation. Applications/product engineering; goals of applications/product engineering.
Reliability/Quality/Failure Analysis (FA): Reliability engineering overview; accelerated life test, HTDR; reliability; stress testing: IDDQ, HVST, AMVR.
Ian Grout is a lecturer within the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering in the University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. He joined the University of Limerick in 1998. He teaches mixed signal and digital IC test engineering at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Before joining the University of Limerick, he worked within the University of Lancaster, UK, on circuit design and test development teaching and research.