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Lower Cost of Testing RFID ICs

Shanghai Hua Hong NEC Electronics Company, Ltd. and Advantest Corporation have collaborated to successfully develop a wafer-level, multi-site parallel test solution for radio-frequency identification (RFID) semiconductor devices that meet industry-standard ISO 14443 guidelines. This new test methodology is now being used to improve the cost efficiency of volume-production testing at Hua Hong NEC and, most importantly, has already met with approval from the foundry's key customers.
By leveraging Hua Hong NEC's advanced production processing and test development capabilities in smart card and information security applications and the highly efficient performance of Advantest's T2000 test platform, the jointly developed test solution provides fast accurate recognition and feedback for cost-effectively testing current and future generations of RFID devices.
RFID devices that comply with ISO 14443 standards are divided into two types: Type A and Type B. The major difference between them is in the modulation/demodulation for the 13.56 MHz carrier wave. When in use, a proximity coupling device (PCD) sends a carrier signal at 13.56 MHz to the RFID device. The RFID device's antenna receives the signal wave, which carries both transmitted data and the power that drives the RFID device. The RFID device then sends a return signal carrying response data back to the PCD. In this way, information is communicated between the PCD and the RFID. However, crosstalk among RFID devices during wafer-level testing can result in reduced production yields and low productivity.
The new test solution uses a high signal quality, anti-crosstalk interface and an optimized algorithm within the test program to minimize the bit error rate and perform multi-site parallel testing. This methodology is currently being used in mass production to test 32 RFID sites in parallel -- the highest parallelism in the industry. The next-generation solution under development by Hua Hong NEC and Advantest will be capable of 64-site parallelism to meet the testing needs for future RFID devices.

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