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Type and Applications of Automated Test Equipment (ATE)

Published Date : June 26, 2018

What is Automated Test Equipment (ATE)?

Automated test equipment or automatic test equipment is a device, which performs test on another device known under various pseudonyms including unit under test (UUT), device under test (DUT), and equipment under test (EUT). Automated test equipment employs automation to perform tasks at a higher speed and consequently procure accurate results.

Simple and complex automated test equipment:

Automated test equipment could be simple and complicated as well. They could either be the mixture of various complex instruments or be the simple computer-governed digital multimeter.  The complex set of instruments could be real or they could even be a set of simulated electronic test equipment. They possess the potential to test instinctively and diagnose the snags in any complicated electronic packaged parts or on wafer, testing that encompasses integrated circuits and system on chips.

Application sectors of automated test equipment:

The testing of various electronic components and fabricated systems utilize automated test equipment (ATE). The usage of automated testing in electronic manufacturing industries is quite rampant. Automobile industries also employ automated test equipment to evaluate avionics and electronic modules present in automobiles. Military applications like wireless communication and radar would also require the service of automated test equipment for evaluation purposes. 

Components of automated test equipment:

Automated test equipment comprises of a master controller that connects one or more source and captures instruments. This is the design of semiconductor automated test equipment. The master controller is typically a computer. During earlier days, automated test equipment employed custom-designed relays or controllers.

Importance of the connection between ATE and DUT:

The automated test equipment connects with the unit under test by means of a robotic machine called a prober or handler. A customized Interface Test Adapter (ITA) or fixture also provides the connection between automated test equipment and the device under test.  The physical connection between the automated test equipment (ATE) and the device under test (DUT) is eventually accomplished and fixture adapts the ATE’s resources to the DUT. The most pivotal job of automated test equipment is to evaluate whether the device under test functions properly.

Significance of automated test equipment:

The types of automated test equipment available in the market include memory automated test equipment, discrete automated test equipment and non-memory automated test equipment. Semiconductor manufacturing is one amongst the most crucial sectors that requires the usage of automated test equipment as evaluation for integrated circuits on a wafer should occur beforehand. Features like enhanced performance and high speed have increased the hype of automated test equipment.