In this video, 5G Technology World spoke with Marvin Test CEO Steve Sargeant about how the company adapted to mass production of mmWave devices and how the pandemic changed its methods of technical support.
High-volume production of ICs such as RF low-noise amplifiers and data converters for 5G mean that semiconductor companies must test products at mmWave frequencies. For commercial telecom products, testing production ICS at mmWave frequencies presents new test challenges.
While frequencies from 24 GHz to 60 GHz may be new to some, military and aerospace communications systems have operated there for many years. With industrial and consumer products moving into that frequency range, test engineers need the appropriate equipment on the factory floor. Marvin Test Solutions has for years served the production test needs for military and aerospace communications. Steve Sargeant, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Marvin Test Solutions (MTS),
explained in the video how the company has adapted to
these new demands for high frequency and high volume.
Sargeant explains why the company needed to hire an RF design engineer who works with Keysight and other suppliers. In addition, the company hired additional technical support staff. Because of the pandemic, the company’s application engineers couldn’t visit customers to help with installations. Instead, engineers had to rely on video-conferencing apps for remote support. The company also developed videos explaining how to install the system to IC handlers.
Marvin Test provides semiconductor test equipment based around RF testers from Keysight Technologies. The MTS TS900 series IC test system (Figure 1) uses a Keysight M9807A modular vector-network analyzer (VNA) running in a Marvin Test PXIe chassis located inside the test system (Figure 2).
Marvin Test was, according to Sargeant, the first company to deliver mmWave IC production test systems to market.