News Column

Patent Issued for Test Apparatus and Test Method

August 27, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- Advantest Corporation (Tokyo, JP) has been issued patent number 8805634, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventor is Tamura, Kazumoto (Gunma, JP).

This patent was filed on November 12, 2010 and was published online on August 12, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present invention relates to a test apparatus and a test method for testing a device under test.

"A test apparatus for testing a semiconductor device or the like includes one or more test units and a control apparatus. Each test unit supplies a test signal to the device under test.

"The control apparatus can be realized as a computer connected to the test units via a serial communication cable or the like. The control apparatus issues an access request to each of the test units to control the test units. The access request issued by the control apparatus is stored temporarily in a buffer, and is then transmitted to the test units via a bus or the like.

"When clearing the buffer, the control apparatus issues a read request to the test units and does not issue a new access request until receiving a response to this read request. As a result, the access requests that were issued before the read request are pushed out of the buffer to the test units, thereby clearing the buffer. When a read request has been issued, the control apparatus must be in a standby state not performing other processes until receiving the response to the read request.

"In recent test apparatuses, however, the test units supplying test signals to the devices under test are controlled from remote control apparatuses. As a result, the total time from when a control apparatus issues a read request to when the response is received is increased. Accordingly, the standby time of a control apparatus when clearing access requests from a buffer is increased."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Therefore, it is an object of an aspect of the innovations herein to provide a test apparatus and a test method, which are capable of overcoming the above drawbacks accompanying the related art. The above and other objects can be achieved by combinations described in the independent claims. The dependent claims define further advantageous and exemplary combinations of the innovations herein.

"According to a first aspect related to the innovations herein, provided is a test apparatus that tests a device under test, comprising a control apparatus that controls testing of the device under test; a test unit that sends and receives signals to and from the device under test; and a buffer section that buffers access requests transmitted from the control apparatus to the test unit and, prior to completion of a write request to a predetermined buffer control address from the control apparatus, issues previously buffered access requests to the test unit side.

"According to a second aspect related to the innovations herein, provided is a test method for testing a device under test performed by a test apparatus, wherein the test apparatus includes a control apparatus that controls testing of the device under test; and a test unit that sends and receives signals to and from the device under test. The test method comprises buffering access requests transmitted from the control apparatus to the test unit and, prior to completion of a write request to a predetermined buffer control address from the control apparatus, issuing previously buffered access requests to the test unit side.

"The summary clause does not necessarily describe all necessary features of the embodiments of the present invention. The present invention may also be a sub-combination of the features described above. The above and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of the embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Tamura, Kazumoto. Test Apparatus and Test Method. U.S. Patent Number 8805634, filed November 12, 2010, and published online on August 12, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8805634.PN.&OS=PN/8805634RS=PN/8805634

Keywords for this news article include: Advantest Corporation.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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