Market Overview

Presto Engineering Saves Customers Money by Turning Ordinary Testers Into Extra-Ordinary Testers


The fast pace of new technology can mean that companies are pushing the
boundaries with products faster than the manufacturers of test equipment
can keep up. As one of the leading test facilities in Europe, Presto
Engineering has encountered this problem many times and has devised many
ways to solve it.

Martin Kingdon, Presto's VP of Sales, explained, "Customers often come
to us to solve their testing challenges. Frequently, the issue is that
they are pushing the boundary of technology. This means that the
manufacturers of test equipment have not created testers yet or, if they
have, the testers are very expensive and specialised, as the need has
not reached mainstream demand."

In most cases, Presto creates a hardware solution that is built into the
load board so that a standard tester could be used rather than having to
buy and charge the customer for a highly specialised tester. Test costs
are based on the time that a tester is used so that the small additional
costs of components on a load board is significantly more cost effective
than moving to a higher feature or specialised tester.

An example of adapting standard test equipment to outperform is for
ultra-low current testing. By adding a current amplifier onto the load
board, a standard tester can now be used to measure currents as low as
one nanoAmp.

Similarly, a customer needed 6.5GHz testing but standard testers only
handle up to 6GHz. A tester that could handle up to 12GHz is much more
expensive. Instead of incurring this cost for the customer, Presto
devised a frequency translator that was integrated onto the load board
so that a standard 6GHz tester could now be used beyond its normal
range. This provided lower cost solution to save the customer money.

Sometimes, devising a solution can mean turning a problem on its head.
Presto faced a challenge when asked to test the performance of a
photodiode that was integrated into a chip. Each photodiode on the wafer
needed to be tested for its response to light input. The normal wafer
stepper motors could not provide the level of accuracy needed to
position the wafer. So, instead of moving the wafer, Presto created a
solution using tiny motors for the fine x and y alignment of the laser
beam that was used to stimulate each photodiode.

Martin Kingdon added, "We have a wealth of test experience and a
comprehensive range of testers already in house to draw on. This enables
us to create solutions that save customers money by adapting and
enhancing existing testers to meet the new, more challenging test
parameters rather than incurring the cost of highly expensive,
specialized test equipment. Once developed, we can transfer and
integrate these new test solutions into our high-volume production
facilities in Asia."

About Presto Engineering

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