Electronics & Computers

Kionix’s Production Speed Advances Fivefold with SPEA Robotic Test Systems

March 24, 2011

SPEA’s complete single-manufacturer MEMS test solution boosts Kionix’s throughput.

ITHACA, NY -- Kionix Inc. announced another important step in expanding capacity for reliability and quality testing of its complete portfolio of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors. Responding to an ever-increasing demand for its products—sold in the hundreds of millions for consumer, automotive, healthcare and industrial applications—Kionix has ramped up the further adoption of SPEA's MEMS Test Cells (MTC) 100 systems. Providing the ability to test simultaneously sixteen devices under test (DUT), SPEA's MTC 100 delivers a 5:1 improvement over Kionix's previous testing equipment and provides the basis for significantly speeding order-to-delivery times for even the highest-volume customers.

Using proprietary inspection techniques, SPEA's MTC 100 offers a comprehensive solution for final testing of tri-axis accelerometers and gyroscopes. Integrating all the elements required for the electrical and functional test of the devices—including the stimulus unit for the verification of the electro-mechanical operation and tri-temp conditioning for the simulation of a real working environment—SPEA's MTC 100 allows manufacturers to bring to market highly reliable, highly stable products.

"From our first site visit to SPEA in 2008, we have recognized that SPEA's unmatched design flexibility, MEMS-specific industry expertise and superior testing solutions would help put Kionix products on the fast-track to market," said Ken Hager, chief operating officer, Kionix. "The installation of more SPEA tools in our test facilities gives us a no-compromise solution for the continuous expansion of our production capacity. This increased throughput is the foundation for our sustained rise as a top-tier MEMS inertial sensor supplier."

Given the relationship of throughput to lead times, Hager anticipates that Kionix will improve its already excellent order-to-delivery track record in the months ahead.

"We are seeing a mass proliferation of complex electronic devices in all aspects of life, from personal entertainment and communication to biomedical devices and automotive safety systems. In every instance, only accurate testing can ensure that these products will work as intended-and for as long as anticipated—without failures," stated Aldo Cesaretti, test engineering director, Semiconductor ATE, SPEA. "As one of the industry's top providers of MEMS accelerometers and gyros for mobile handsets, video game peripherals, global positioning systems, hard disk drives and other high-volume applications, Kionix is an ideal partner for SPEA. They place great value on the reliability, quality and long life of their products, and we are committed to helping them to sustain their extremely high standards."

SPEA's Testing Tools
The MTC 100 tool is a complete test cell that features an H3500 Pick & Place Handler for high-precision, high-productivity processing of the components from trays; a Comptest MX MEMS Tester for the parallel multi-site testing of multiple devices; and a Rate Yaw Table MEMS Stimulus Unit for stimulating the devices for functional test, while applying hot and cold conditioning for tri-temp testing.

SPEA tools offer customization options of which Kionix has taken advantage. Kionix has added a Reel Sort Unit (RSU) to place programmed and tested parts directly onto reels. These sorting units reduce handling time, moving parts more quickly from production to shipping.

About Kionix
Kionix, Inc., located in Ithaca, New York, USA, is a wholly owned subsidiary of ROHM Co., Ltd. of Japan. The company pioneered high-aspect ratio silicon micromachining based on research originally conducted at Cornell University and today enjoys a global reputation for MEMS product design, process engineering and quality manufacturing. Consumer-electronics leaders worldwide utilize Kionix's products, development tools and application support to enable motion-based gaming; user-interface functionality in mobile handsets, personal navigation and TV remote controllers; and hard-disk-drive drop protection in mobile products. Kionix's MEMS products are further diversified into the automotive, industrial and healthcare sectors. Kionix offers one of the industry's broadest families of MEMS devices that incorporate tri-axis accelerometers and gyroscopes along with the mixed-signal-interface integrated circuits that provide algorithm processing of sensor data. Kionix is ISO9001:2000 and TS16949 registered.

About SPEA
SPEA is a world leading company in the field of automatic test equipment for microchips and electronic boards. Since 1976, the company has engaged itself with creativity and innovation in finding the most suitable solutions—the most advanced, most reliable, most convenient—for testing electronic devices.

Today, SPEA is well-known worldwide for the ability to solve the most complex test cases, quickly developing suitable technical solutions at affordable prices for testing the most ambitious technical achievements. Since the beginning, SPEA has based its success on the effective cooperation with electronics manufacturers, from R&D to test.

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