Technology

Advantest introduces T6373 LCD driver test system














MUMBAI: Japan‘s Advantest has announced its new T6373 LCD driver test system for LCD source, gate and one-chip controller driver ICs. Available from July it comes equipped with up to 3072 channels and offers parallel test for up to 32 devices.


Advantest is an automatic test equipment supplier to the semiconductor industry, and also produces electronic and optoelectronic instruments and systems. Spurred by next year‘s Beijing Olympics and by the rapid transitioning of television broadcast technology from analogue to digital, there is a growing worldwide demand for large, high-definition LCD panels, destined for use mainly for flat-panel digital televisions.


Such demand is expected to result in an expansion in the market for LCD driver ICs, a key component of LCD panels. Forecasts suggest that by 2010, shipments of these ICs will increase by around 45 per cent, but that this will represent a monetary increase of just seven per cent. This will lead to mounting pricing pressure for producers.

 

At the same time, test time and test costs are spiraling upward, as the introduction of higher definition and larger LCD panels necessitates faster driver ICs with increasingly high bit resolution and pin count. Such circumstances have led mass producers of driver ICs to press for a cost-effective test
solution.


The firm says that the new T6373 contributes greatly to reducing test costs. It has up to 512 channels for digital test of image signal inputs and 3072 channels for LCD test of outputs, doubling that of the previous model on both counts, and it provides parallel testing of up to 32 units.


It also has twice the capacity of its predecessor for parallel testing of 684-pin and 720-pin driver ICs commonly used in large LCD televisions, with the result that four such devices can now be tested simultaneously.

 

The T6373 has a high-accuracy digitiser unit for each of its LCD channels, enabling testing of higher bit resolution and pin count ICs at a throughput 1.5 times greater than that of its predecessor. It offers lower cost high- precision testing for a wide range of devices, from mass-produced items such as 8-bit (512 grayscale) and 10-bit (1024 grayscale) driver ICs for digital consumer electronics, to new and next-generation items like the 12-bit (4096 grayscale) driver ICs.

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