Did you ever wonder how semiconductor manufacturers test their highly Integrated Circuits (ICs) with tens or hundreds of pins? How to generate test signals for all these pins and measure their behavior at the same time? A new 32-channel tool to do exactly that just hit the market. Up to eight of them can be connected in parallel to create a 256 channel instrument capable of producing 100 million test vectors per second with an edge placement resolution of 39 picoseconds.

The NI PXIe-6570 PXI Digital Pattern Instrument was designed for testing ICs at an economical price per pin. It features 100 MVector per second pattern execution with independent source and capture engines and voltage/current parametric functions at up to 256 synchronized digital pins in a single subsystem. Each pin can source or sink up to 32 mA or can be programmed as an active or passive (50 ohms) termination. The pins also function as so-called Pin Parametric Measure Units (PPMUs) that source and sink voltage or current to make DC parametric measurements. These functions are commonly used for continuity or open/short and leakage testing.

The instrument is supported by a highly sophisticated pattern editor to create test vectors with very high detail allowing pin parameters to be set per period on a nanosecond scale. The same tool also functions as a data visualizer including a digital oscilloscope, a live pin parameter fiddler and much more.