Spurred by the CHIPS and Science Act and a thriving microelectronics ecosystem in Arizona supported by Arizona State University, the semiconductor manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. is sparking a rapidly growing need for semiconductor test engineers.
Test engineers ensure that semiconductor chips operate properly under a variety of conditions by testing them for defects and out-of-tolerance process deviations.
While a chip may seem to function well for most of its uses, it takes only a missed operating condition in testing to cause a small number of users to experience significant failures in electronic systems.
“During testing, all defects, including the stealthy ones, need to be detected,” says Sule Ozev, a professor of electrical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. “A test engineer’s job is to work like a detective and find the correct test patterns, similar to interrogating a suspect, so that all possible defects are activated during testing to ensure that no defective part is shipped to the customer.”
To help meet the increasing demand for semiconductor test engineers, microelectronics testing equipment company Advantest and chip manufacturer NXP® Semiconductors approached ASU to address their need for training in the field.