CUPERTINO, USA: As the market for fourth-generation (4G) wireless communications continues to emerge, semiconductor test equipment company Verigy has installed its V93000 Port Scale RF tester in production lines for next-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband data and telephony chips.
“We now have test systems in production for both LTE and WiMax 4G solutions,” said Pascal Ronde, vice president of worldwide sales, service and support at Verigy. “Our V93000 platform’s flexible design and advanced capabilities have allowed us to stake a dominant early position in both major segments of the 4G market. We believe today’s announcement marks the first installation of test equipment in the industry for LTE chip manufacturing.”
A key strength of Verigy’s V93000 platform is its ability to test a wide range of devices, including RF and baseband. This enables users to achieve higher utilization rates than they can with application-specific test systems. In addition, the V93000’s excellent modulation/demodulation performance at higher data rates makes it especially well-suited for testing advanced semiconductor devices, such as those required in 4G networks.
The upgrade to 4G wireless networks is being driven largely by an insatiable market demand for faster data transmission rates than existing 3G networks can provide. The two standards being considered for 4G networks are LTE, which originated in the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and WiMax (IEEE 802.16e/m), which has its roots in the WLAN market. Both of these technologies use advanced Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) modulation.
“The advent of 4G wireless devices raises new performance challenges that surpass current 3G testing practices,” Ronde added. “Our Port Scale RF system has the necessary performance to meet these next-generation test requirements while also achieving production-ready throughput.”
Sample volumes of LTE chips are expected to begin shipping to handset manufacturers in the US and Japan in late 2009, with widespread deployment of LTE networks to follow sometime after 2012. WiMax devices are already being deployed worldwide for fixed, broadband data communications. The V93000 platform allows Verigy to serve both of these market segments.