Advantest introduces image-processing engine for testing CIS devices used in high-res smartphones

Semiconductor test equipment supplier Advantest Corporation has begun shipping the fourth generation of its high-speed image-processing engine that applies heterogeneous computing technology to detect defects in the data output from today’s most advanced CMOS image sensors (CIS).

When integrated on the T2000 ISS platform, the new T2000 IP Engine 4 (Image Processing Engine 4) system provides the optimal means of evaluating the latest high-resolution, high-speed CIS devices used in advanced smartphone cameras.

Smartphone applications, the largest end-use application for CIS devices, are forecast to grow to US$15.7bn in 2025, according to market research firm IC Insights. While the number of cameras in smartphones is increasing, so is the pixel count per camera. Currently available CIS devices within today’s most advanced smartphones incorporate more than 100 million pixels to achieve high resolution. Also, the CIS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.9% from 6.7 billion units in 2020 to 13.5 billion units by 2025.

The new T2000 IP Engine 4 features enhanced computing power to handle huge volumes of imaging data while reducing test times and the cost of test. Used along with Advantest’s 4.8GICAP image capture module, the new tester can perform high-volume, at-speed testing of the most advanced mobile CIS including 3.5-Gsps C-PHY and 4.8-Gbps D-PHY devices. Image-processing accelerators enable fast testing of high-resolution CIS with more than 200 million pixels.

The system is supported by a image-processing library optimized for the IP Engine 4. The algorithms provided are suitable for high-speed image-processing environments, helping to facilitate test program development.

Designed for installation on the T2000 ISS platform, the IP Engine 4 is fully compatible with previous generations of image-processing engines and is easily upgradable, enabling users to leverage their existing assets including test programs and probe cards.

“Our new IP Engine 4 delivers the industry’s fastest image processing, a key capability in reducing test times and production costs,” said Toshiaki Adachi, vice president of the T2000 business unit for Advantest Corporation. “We expect this test solution to play a key role as high-resolution CIS devices spread beyond high-end smart phones into mid-range handsets and other broad consumer market segments.”

The first T2000 IP Engine 4 systems are now being evaluated by Advantest’s strategic partners.