Conditions are changing rapidly in today's semiconductor manufacturing market. A convergence of emerging technologies — primarily 5G, IoT, AI, and AVs — has forever changed the electronics industry. The advent of these new technologies, along with the introduction of new substrate materials, is bringing with it a marked ramp-up in the amount of production volume needed. As a result, existing companies are expanding their manufacturing capacities, and many new startups are entering the field.
These rapid growth conditions create some challenges for companies that want to capitalize on the new boom. Entering a well-established market like chip manufacturing, with its pre-defined expectations of product entry, can be an involved process.
It is a difficult enough task to market and sell products destined for technologies not yet fully defined. Add the fact that the chip market has an established history of strict reliability standards, and companies with a new design face a seemingly impossible uphill climb. How can the technical team arm sales and marketing with hard data to convince customers that new, unproven products will work in the intended environment?
Testing solutions from Accel-RF can give manufacturers the competitive edge they need. The configurable systems are flexible, fast and can provide the concrete data that end customers require when selecting chip providers.
Bridging the Great Divide
Technical teams and sales and marketing teams have different concerns. Often, it is difficult for design engineers to communicate the need for a robust reliability testing program. The customer-facing side of the business is typically more concerned with product speed, features, and benefits - until the inevitable happens, and the customer requests to see reliability testing data.
The need for this type of data is a well-known fact among those familiar with the electronics manufacturing industry, but less understood by those just entering the field. Even if the technical team starts putting out the word early, a system for testing often gets put off until late in the process.
If the company did not go into the sales process with a definite plan for testing in place, it could easily get caught off guard by requests for reliability data. At that point, the engineering team may try to do in-house testing or turn to a third-party testing solution. Unfortunately, both of these options are inherently flawed.
- In-House Testing: Testing in-house is problematic for several reasons. First, home-brewed equipment is customized to each device tested and not easily reconfigured as needs change. Also, the data obtained is suspect since the testing methods are unproven and non-standardized.
- Third-Party Testers: The wide-bandgap semiconductors like GaN and SiC are newer technologies with extremely limited historical testing data on both the device and application-specific fronts. On top of that, no outside testing facilities exist that can accommodate the testing volume needed for the expected influx of new devices.
Getting the Data To Make a Case
Electronic product makers expect extensive reliability data before even considering a device for inclusion in one of their designs. It is a given in the industry that this data will be hard, verifiable statistical data and not computer-generated projections.
In the emerging technology areas such as 5G and AV, reliability is too high stakes to take any chances. Devices with no history, because they are new, are especially suspect. Getting them to market often requires sales and marketing teams to show test results substantial enough to convince product makers that their device will do the job.
Accel-RF's testing solutions can solve many of these problems. Their systems can provide sufficient return on investment by offering companies the ability to enter a competitive playing field with a definite advantage.
Accel-RF systems are modular, so they provide complete flexibility. As the markets change, manufacturers can quickly test new parameters and products as needed. They can avoid the problem of getting locked into a dedicated in-house testing solution designed for one product that they must abandon when the market needs change. They can invest in the base system and then change various components as required with minimal additional investment.
The systems also feature a robust software product that the user can customize to extract the exact parameters needed. Depending on what the chip manufacturer's customer requires, the software can extract specific characterization and failure data. It also contains tools to allow the user to format the data into a presentation that sales and marketing can easily demonstrate to the customer.
Accel-RF: The Testing Solution With a Difference
Accel-RF has contributed to the electronics testing industry for decades. Its products are well-known in the industry and considered a reliable standard. Through many years of testing in the areas of military and space products, Accel-RF has gained a reputation as a trustworthy source of test statistics for products that cannot fail.
The ability to give sales and marketing teams robust data quickly is imperative to success in today's electronic device market. Accel-RF allows technical teams to disseminate that data faster and more reliably than any in-house solution or outside firm can. By having the heritage data and reputation of Accel-RF behind them, new-entry companies can remove potential bottlenecks in the data-verification process. This ability allows them to participate more effectively in the sales process for emerging technology electronic devices.