Since the early days of the first 8-bit microprocessor, Consultronix has been developing test instrumentation and automation control systems for the microelectronics industry. The early days required the design and implementation of your own control computer and I/O devices. Then began the tedious task of writing software in assembler code. When all was said and done, you had a reasonably good control system, but any modifications required the all too familiar task of erasing and re-programming EPROMS, testing and repeating the process until all was as you wanted it.
Now the PC is more abundant, cheaper and extremely more powerful than the old microprocessor-based control systems. Changes can be made on the fly and development tools are plentiful and save a ton of time. PC-based data acquisition modules and digital I/O modules are readily available and offer an effective means with which to interface most hardware devices. Today's analog data acquisition modules can take 16-bit readings in 1 microsecond. This allows for multiple samples on a rapidly changing waveform such as is done in a thermal measurement system.
The advent of USB 2.0 freed the control module from the PC chassis and the PCI bus. Now it can be placed in more convenient locations nearer the points to be measured or controlled. It also allows for closer coupling of the control module and its interface board where amplifiers, power drivers and other components are mounted. No more ribbon cables draping from the rear of the pc chassis to the measurement sites or interface modules. It's a new day!
We can perform data acquisition up to 24-bit resolution as needed with 16-bit being the more common choice. We develop programmable current sources and voltage sources to excite test devices and crystal-controlled digital timing devices to control measurement time-base accuracy.
We typically write or assist in the creation of a test specification, establish the best way to acquire the data needed to achieve the desired results and design the hardware and software to perform the tests and display the data in both graphical and tabular formats.
Thermal Test and Measurement Systems
For the past twenty years, Consultronix has been involved in the development of several thermal test systems and associated thermal measurement systems. Working with Thermal Engineering Associates, several products have been developed that are now industry standards. The TTS series of instruments (TTS-1000, TTS-1010, TTS-4200) are used to measure the thermal resistance of semiconductor packages. The ThetaJC Heat Flux Instrumentation product provides measurement of the thermal resistance between junction and case of a semiconductor device. The TIM Test System measures the thermal resistance of thermal interface materials.
MEMS Sensor Wafer Probe Measurement System
From the very beginning of Sentir Semiconductor, Consultronix worked with Sentir to provide meaningful instrumentation to guide their process and production activities. By analyzing their products at the wafer level and providing a visual wafer map of their process, they were able to maintain their yields consistently in the high nineties.