|Advanced Distributed Architecture for ATE|
Automated test equipment systems are routinely used in avionics, transportation, and electronics manufacturing. In the semiconductor industry, automated test equipment (ATE) systems are used to test a wide range of electronic devices and systems including components such as capacitors, integrated circuits and fabricated electronic systems. Vicor engineers helped an ATE customer achieve an advanced distributed power supply architecture that delivers space savings, simplified mechanical design and other benefits.
The ATE has 13 DC outputs and draws 1.2 kW from a 110 – 220 Vac mains input. The ATE electronics had previously been powered from an externally mounted centralized architecture power supply. By exploiting the high power density, efficiency and flexibility of the V•I Chip modules, the power supply assembly has now been implemented on a single board that slots directly into the ATE chassis and backplane. The board is slightly larger than a dual height, dual slot VME bus module.
The move from external power supply to internal power board yielded space savings and simpler mechanical design. It also reduced cabling, with the DC outputs fed directly onto the backplane. The V·I Chip modules offer efficiencies greater than 93%, more than 5% better than previously achieved. The Micro modules supplying the higher DC voltages are also very efficient. This reduces the cooling requirement as well as energy costs – the new solution needs airflow only from the chassis cooling fan. The reduced cabling requirement has minimized issues such as radiated noise, ground loops and voltage drops. EMC filtering is also simplified.
The V·I Chip-based power design significantly enhances the test equipment’s sales features. The new equipment has twice the number of test channels of its predecessor and features additional architectural improvements.