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An A.T.E. Solutions, Inc. Internet Publication
Volume 10 Number 7 April 16, 2006

The Testability Director Version 3.2


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This Issue's Feature Articles

Finding your way around ESD Standards
Carl E. Newberg, President, MicroStat Laboratories

Product/Service Focus
This issue's focus is Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). You can view and add to our existing list of Test Products/Services, Test Vendors, Test Literature, Test Definitions
What's New in Test
  4/12/2006 ZD Test appoints Axiomatek as exclusive representative for Mexico
  4/6/2006 U.S. Navy Orders Additional Jet Engine Test Instrumentation Systems From EADS
  4/4/2006 Measuring Electrical Arcs At The Micrometer Scale
  4/4/2006 Tokyo Electron delivers MEMS tester
Application Notes
  4/1/2006 BGA Opens Detection: A DfT Approach
  4/1/2006 Cut noise from high-resistance measurements
  4/1/2006 Linux controls instruments through Ethernet
Interviews and Forums
  4/3/2006 Avago takes semiconductor baton from Agilent
  4/1/2006 Today's testing, tomorrow's engineers - Interoperability communications test lab
Magazine Articles
  4/10/2006 MEMS-based oscillator threatens quartz; resonator could move on-chip
  4/1/2006 Anatomy of a Switch - Test System Switching
  4/1/2006 Change your approach to test equipment use, manage accordingly, witness dramatic results
  4/1/2006 Chips bring fingerprint verification a step further
  4/1/2006 Choosing the Right X-Ray Tool for the Job
  4/1/2006 Drilling Down Into FPGAs - Logic Analyzer on a Chip
  4/1/2006 Engineers Optimistic About Industry Comeback - Salary Survey
  4/1/2006 Interference-Free RF Device Testing
  4/1/2006 Power metering made easy
  4/1/2006 Tin Whiskers
Presentations and Web Seminar Archives
  4/4/2006 Bus Technologies for Test and Measurement Systems
Product Releases
  4/13/2006 JTAG/Boundary Scan Platform SCANFLEX offers new I/O Module for Mixed Signal Test
  4/11/2006 USB switch comes with ESD protection
  4/10/2006 Power meter ICs target global market
  4/7/2006 Pickering Interfaces Introduces New LXI Video Matrix
  4/5/2006 AR Worldwide Launches Amplifiers For Testing WiMAX Output Devices
  4/4/2006 JTAG ProVision Accelerates Development of Boundary-scan Applications
  4/3/2006 3.5G wireless tester gets 1xEV-DO phone option
  4/3/2006 Agilent Technologies expands vectorless test extended performance (VTEP) with intelligent VTEP
  4/3/2006 Agilent Technologies introduces industry's highest scalability fibre channel SAN test system for director class switches
  4/3/2006 GaGe’s Low-cost Multi-channel Digitizers Now Available
  4/3/2006 LXI switch/control units fit 1U-high half-rack slots
  4/1/2006 A Scope That Captures AND Analyzes
  4/1/2006 New Standards on Tin Whisker Mitigation
Web postings
  4/1/2006 Diagnostic Tools Fit Specific Needs; Success Comes from Best Match-Ups
  4/1/2006 Diagnostic Tools using Automatic Probing
  4/1/2006 Selecting a Systems Diagnostic Design Development Tool
  4/1/2006 Selecting the Best Technology For Troubleshooting No Fault Found / Intermittent Conditions
Finding Your Way Around ESD Standards

Carl E. Newberg, President, MicroStat Laboratories

A significant investment can be made when purchasing products for an ESD safe work area.  In many cases, thousands of dollars can be wasted purchasing items that won’t work as described.

After spending many years purchasing products for semiconductor and disk drive manufacturing operations, the author has learned that it is critical to purchase items that have been tested by an in-house laboratory or an independent laboratory to verify that they meet the established requirements.

The requirements for equipment and materials used in ESD-Safe work areas can be found in documents and specifications published by the ESD Association.  This article will outline some of those documents and standards published by the ESD Association.

The ESD Association has a very aggressive and active standards writing group which publishes documents related to ESD testing of devices, testing of workstations and materials, and several detailed overview documents on work area and ESD program development.  After an extensive writing and review process which includes submission to industry for comments, the documents are submitted for ANSI approval.

The ESD Association has four levels of documents that it publishes.  ESD Standards are given the ESD S XX.XX - YR designation.  Standards define a precise statement of a set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, system or process that also specifies the procedures for determining whether each of the requirements is satisfied. In many cases, these standards refer to the other types of documents.

Standard Test Methods are given the ESD STM XX.XX - YR designation.  These documents are aggressively reviewed and include round-robin test matrices along with extensive data analysis to ensure repeatability and reproducibility of data. STM’s give a definitive procedure for the identification, measurement and evaluation of one or more qualities, characteristics or properties of a material, product, system or process that yield a reproducible test result.

Standard Practices are given an ESD SP XX.XX - YR designation and are documents written in the same vein as STM’s however are not as repeatable or reproducible for a variety of reasons.  An SP gives a procedure for performing one or more operations or functions that may or may not yield a test result.  However it should be noted that if a test result is obtained it is not necessarily reproducible.

Advisories and Technical Reports are also published by the ESDA.  These documents are a collection of technical data or test results published as an informational reference on a specific material, product, system or process.  The advisories are being phased out, and in most cases, are being replaced by technical reports.  Technical reports are given an ESD TR XX – YR designation.

ANSI/ESD S20.20 is an overall document which details how to develop and run a company-wide ESD control program.  S20.20 has been used in the industry now for over five years and is well accepted.  The document has been adopted by the Department of Defense to replace the now obsolete MIL-STD-1686.  ANSI/ESD S20.20 is available for free download from the ESD Association’s web site.  This document should be downloaded and available for anybody who has or is developing an ESD control program of any size.  For larger organizations, many ISO registrars also offer a formal certification to ANSI/ESD S20.20.  A list of registrars available to perform these audits is available at

In addition to ESD S20.20, the ESD Association also publishes a plethora of test methods, standards, advisory and technical reports related to all areas of ESD control.  The standards writing organization, along with the documents written by them are organized by working group.

The largest single working group which supplies test methods to the semiconductor testing industry is WG-5.  WG-5 has published documents for testing semiconductor devices for human-body model (STM5.1-2001), machine-model (STM5.2-1999), Charged Device Model – Component Level (STM5.3.1-1999), Sensitivity Testing Socketed Device (SDM) Component Level (SP5.3.2-2004), Transient Latch-up Testing – Component Level (SP5.4-2004), and ESDS Testing Transmission Line Pulse (SP5.5.1-2004).  There are also several draft standards out for review from this committee (DSP 5.1.1-2005 & DSP 5.1.2-2005).

The balance of the working groups provide documents that are more material or work-area related.  WG-1 had written S1.1-1998 “Wrist Straps,” and WG-2 has published STM 2.1-1997, “Garments.”  WG-3 has published several documents on ionization, with STM3.1-2000.  being the most established and only document on ionization in the industry.  SP3.3-2000 defines periodic verification of ionizers.  WG-4 has published S4.1-1997 and STM4.2-1998 on worksurfaces.

WG-6 is a dormant group, however the document that they published, S6.1-2005 “Grounding,” is another well-accepted document in the industry.  WG-7 has published S7.1-2005 “Resistive Characterization of Materials - Floor Materials.”  WG-8 is another dormant group but has another well-established document S8.1-2001 “Symbols – ESD Awareness.”  In addition to this document, the symbols can be downloaded from (page down a bit to find the symbols).

WG-9 has published STM9.1-2001 “Footwear – Resistive Characterization,” and SP9.2-2003 “Foot Grounders Resistive Characterization.”  They also published STM97.1-1999 “Floor Materials and Footwear–Resistance Measurement in Combination with a Person” and STM97.2-1999 “Floor Materials and Footwear – Voltage Measurement in Combination with a Person.”  WG-10 has published SP10.1-2000 “Automated Handling Equipment.”

WG-11 (Packaging Materials) has published a number of documents including the industry recognized STM11.11-2001 “Surface Resistance,” and STM11.12-2000 “Volume Resistance.”  They have also published STM 11.13-2004 “Two Point Resistance Measurement,” and STM 11.31-2001 “Shielding for Bags.”  They also published an advisory (ADV11.2-1995) on Triboelectric Charge Accumulation Testing.  Perhaps the most critical specification to come out of this group in recent years is the newly released S541-2003 which replaces the EIA-541 Standard which was rendered obsolete by EIA several years ago. 

WG-12 published STM12.1-1997 “Seating – Resistive Measurement,” and WG-13 issued STM13.1-2000 “Electric Soldering/Desoldering Hand Tools.”

Finally, WG-14 has recently published SP14.1-2004 “System Level Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Simulator Verification,” and WG-15 very recently issued SP15.1-2005 “In-Use Resistance Testing of Gloves and Finger Cots.”

Clearly the best supplier to the electrostatics industry for standards and documentation for ESD control is the ESD Association.   A complete list of standards can be found in their Press Catalog.  Using these standards and test methods is the single best investment that a user of ESD supplies can make.

Next Issue's Product/Service Focus
In our next issue of Product/Service Focus we will cover Stimulus Generating Equipment/Frequency Synthesizers. You can add or upgrade a listing before the next issue comes out.

If you would like to include an exclusive article on how to best select Stimulus Generating Equipment/Frequency Synthesizers, please contact

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New Definitions
New terms added to the Test Definition section:
Digital Trigger
Frequency Synthesizer
MXI Interfaces To Everything
PCI-PCI Bridge
Peripheral Component Interconnect
Phase Coherent
We now have 2145 test terms in our Test Definition section.

Share your definitions with the test community.