Simultaneous testing cuts automotive test times from twelve months to four

November 21, 2018 //By Nick Flaherty
Simultaneous testing cuts automotive test times from twelve months to four
Presto Engineering has launched a fast track programme at its test hub in Normandy, France, that can cut test time for automotive electronic sub-systems from a year to as little as four months. This uses increased oven capacity to run the tests in parallel rather than one after the other, and localised production test cells for read-outs of intermediate chip characteristics during the qualification protocol.

Automotive electronics testing is one of the most exacting of all test and qualification protocols before production release because of the safety and liability considerations. The AEC Q100 revisions, ZVEI and its French equivalent SIA for accelerated environment stress tests not only list the time or number of cycles that batches of samples have to be tested for, but ISO26262 also defines the set of mission profiles per product application in the car.

Each test takes a fixed amount of time so it can typically take a year or more to run the battery of tests required for a new chip design, and can be time consuming to reach the actual FIT level required by the standard. This is because most test facilities only have the capacity to run these tests sequentially.

"Time to market with a new product gives a company a vital competitive edge," said Cédric Mayor, Presto's Chief Operation Officer. "Now, instead of having to wait a year to find out if a new product passes all the tests, we can fast track a product through all the tests in around four months by doing them simultaneously. If there is a problem, a test and reliability engineering cycle of only four months enables any issues to be resolved far faster than a cycle taking a year. This enables a fully qualified product to be brought to market months or possibly years faster than before."

Presto's Normandy Hub test and qualification facility was acquired by the company from NXP in 2010 and Presto has continued to add test equipment to create the largest independent test facility in Europe. A key part of this expertise is the in-house design and manufacture of the hardware needed for testing along with writing the testing control software specifically for products that need burn-in or special conditions such as optical stimulation or RF simulation during burn-in. This combination has enabled it to retain

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