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DAC showing for ‘push-button’ analog test

Analog built-in-self-test (BIST) specialist ATEEDA (Edinburgh, Scotland) will be seeking to woo fabless companies at next week's DAC 2009 with an EDA tool that automatically generates HDL or Verilog code to add analog BIST capabilities to mixed signal silicon.

Billed as a 'push button' tool for analog BIST, ATEEDA's chief executive officer and co-founder David Hamilton claims that the company's new LinBIST tool creates full static tests for ADCs and DACs to 12bits without users needing to generate a line of code. Users enter their converter specification into the graphical user interface (GUI), select the relevant tests to be performed and the test interface, and the tool automatically generates the digital BIST design, something that would generally be a highly laborious task. ATEEDA also provides a small amount of analog IP to accompany the VHDL (Hamilton assures that this is no more than a few thousand gates).

DAC is also an opportunity to launch a revamped version of ATEEDA's core product, OptimATE. Designed primarily to reduce production test time and improve test coverage, OptimATE identifies and optimises digital vectors for testing analog circuits on digital testers. Among the changes to the latest version is a simplified GUI.

A spin-out in 2007 from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, ATEEDA was founded to capitalise on a gap in the volume production market for analog BIST. Asked about current levels of analog BIST adoption, Hamilton said: “I think there's a consensus in the industry that EDA for analog BIST is a good thing, but there isn't much of it about.”

Whilst the company already has IDM customers for OptimATE, as well as fabless company e2v, ATEEDA's is keen to extend its appeal within the fabless community. Says Hamilton: “We think LinBIST will particularly suit fabless companies who may not have the resources for a dedicated built-in-self-test engineer. We need to get a feel for whether we have all the features they need within the tool, and we are at the point of selecting a small number of clients to create the first volume production silicon with this.”

For more information on ATEEDA and to see a video of OptimATE and LinBIST in action, visit ATEEDA’s website.

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