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Mixed-Signal and RF Testing Enters the College Classroom

NXP, Advantest, and Arizona State University team to develop course covering testing for mixed-signal and RF electronics.

Spencer Chin

July 6, 2023

2 Min Read
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NXP, Advantest, and ASU (Arizona State University) are teaming for a course in radiofrequency testing at ASU. joebelanger/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

Collaborations between colleges and electronics companies are growing to meet fast-changing engineering needs. In the latest collaboration, semiconductor test equipment supplier Advantest Corporation and Arizona State University (ASU) are teaming with global semiconductor company NXP® Semiconductors to create a new test engineering course at ASU.

Officially titled “EEE 522 Radio Frequency Test,” the course content was originally developed by faculty in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU and, through this collaboration, was enhanced with laboratory experiments designed by Advantest and administered jointly by Advantest and NXP during the 2023 spring semester. The mixed-signal and RF course will be offered each year going forward.

The mixed-signal and RF test course covers current production test schemes for mixed-signal and RF circuits, the economics of production testing and recent research techniques in reducing production test costs. Students learn to define test conditions and test flows, write and optimize test programs, interpret measurement data, identify potential manufacturing problems and automate the test process.

Advantest and NXP first recognized the need for the course in mid-2022 due to several factors. First, the flurry of wafer-fab construction in Arizona, which is home to numerous advanced chipmaking plants, would soon heighten demand for test engineers. Second, local university engineering programs did not offer classes specifically aimed at training and preparing engineers to enter the semiconductor test industry.

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Both Advantest and NXP, which have multiple locations in Arizona, subsequently approached ASU about implementing such a class and were met with an enthusiastic response.

In addition to conceiving and developing the necessary labs, the two companies contributed resources to ensure its success. Advantest provided a state-of-the-art V93000 SoC test system, installing it at ASU Research Park in Tempe, with experts from both NXP’s and Advantest’s engineering teams donating time to serve as lab supervisors, helping students conduct lab experiments designed to reinforce classroom concepts and, in the process, gain familiarity with an industry-leading ATE platform.

Course professor Sule Ozev, Ph.D., who has taught at ASU for 15 years, Professor Ozev will teach the course every other semester. Industry collaborators from Advantest and NXP who helped develop the labs will teach the course on alternating semesters.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, with more than 30,000 enrolled students, is one of the largest producers of engineering and technical talent in the nation, offering 48 graduate and 25 undergraduate degree programs across seven schools of academic focus, including the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

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Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected]


 

 

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor with Design News, covering the electronics beat.

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