New STC initiative gains momentum in addressing rising cost and efficiency challenges faced by the global semiconductor test supply chain

New Members and Working Groups Continue to Drive Development of Open Test Standards for Peripheral Areas Surrounding Automated Test Equipment

(PresseBox) ( München, )
The Semiconductor Test Consortium, Inc. (STC), the leading proponent of the development and adoption of value-added open test standards that benefit the semiconductor industry, today announced that major progress has been made with a new initiative to enable the development of automatic test equipment (ATE) peripheral interface standards. Designed to foster pre-competitive collaboration among the entire global semiconductor test supply chain, the Semiconductor Test Interface eXtensions (STIXTM) initiative addresses rising cost and efficiency challenges that impact areas around the ATE, such as enabling greater portability of test collateral through higher level abstraction of user programming, equipment integration and device interconnect.

Over the past 12 months, 11 new corporate members, six new individual members and 15 new university members joined the STC in support of the consortium’s expanded scope to encompass the entire test process through the STIX initiative. The roster of new members include corporate and individual members from companies such as FormFactor, Wright Williams & Kelly, and Infineon.

The STIX initiative encompasses both open hardware and software specifications for all peripheral areas around the ATE, regardless of tester architecture or vendor. By standardizing these interfaces, integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) service providers can benefit by gaining higher equipment utilization and easier line balancing. In addition, equipment suppliers can benefit by reducing the need for redundant research and development (R&D) efforts in non-differentiating product areas.

Key to the STIX initiative is the continual formation of new technical, industry-driven working groups to address these peripheral areas that are strategically created to appeal to a broad audience critical to test. The new working groups will join a handful of STC working groups already focused on hardware docking, probe cards, Standard Test Interface Language (STIL), and joint industry-university research projects.

“The STIX initiative was created in response to calls from our membership as well as the industry at large for a comprehensive and united effort to address the need for ATE interface standards,” explained Bob Helsel, STC manager. “Through the STIX initiative, STC members now have the opportunity to help define ATE interface standards and implement them sooner, which will in turn accelerate their return on investment. At the same time, STC efforts supporting the OPENSTAR® initiative continue unabated, with additional progress being made through the recently formed Solutions working group.”

Klaus Luther, vice president of test technology at Infineon Technologies and STC co-vice chairman, added, “This is an exciting time for the STC. The STIX initiative represents a major expansion in the scope of our organization to address growing technical and economic issues that affect the entire global semiconductor test supply chain. The consistent industry-wide feedback that we’ve received has been exceedingly supportive of this new direction to develop and adapt value for all of the peripheral areas around the ATE through open test standards. Significant activity from the newly formed STIX working groups has already resulted.”

The STC will be exhibiting at SEMICON West 2007, in the West Hall, Level 2 at booth #8622 in the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Editors interested in meeting with the STC during the show may contact Ellen Van Etten by phone: 970.778.6094, or e-mail:
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