David Hamilton, CEO at ATEEDA introduced me to his company where they help cut the cost of testing analog pins on your IC by using conventional digital testers.

OptimATE has been around for two years and it is a software tool used by design or test engineers to make voltage measurements on your analog pins. The digital tester reads the analog pin at a specific voltage reference point and determines pass/fail. By strobing at multiple time points you can determine if the analog behavior is within spec or not. Pricing is around $150K annually.

LinBIST is brand new for this year and is a test technology applicable to linear circuits in your chip. Adding BIST to you analog design means that a small number of digital gates will be added to your design with the push of a button, plus you don’t have to know RTL coding to get the BIST logic generated. Just fill in some values on a dialog box and the BIST part is ready to be used.

Also with LinBIST there is a small analog IP block used so you’ll have to pay royalties on your designs along with an annual licensing fee.

You can run the the tools on Unix or Windows computers.

This 12 person start-up has an interesting niche in the DFT world for analog designers. Look for them at DATE in Europe.

When I was at start-up Opmaxx we talked about doing analog BIST in conference proceedings however we never pulled it off commercially. I think that ATEEDA can be a success in analog BIST with their approach.