What Is the Semiconductor Test System (STS)?

STS is a production-ready ATE solution for RF, mixed-signal, and MEMS semiconductor devices that helps improve time to market and lower the cost of test.

Smarter Alternative for Semiconductor Production Test

Optimized for throughput and cost, STS is a production-ready ATE solution for RF, mixed-signal, and MEMS semiconductor devices. STS is ready for the production test cell, with support for manipulators, handlers, and wafer probers, and a standard spring pin layout enables highly transferable test programs and load boards. STS features a unified set of software tools for quickly and efficiently developing, debugging, and deploying test programs. To complete the solution, NI offers comprehensive engineering services, bring-up services, training, and support.

Key Benefits

  • Comprehensive Portfolio of RF, Digital, and DC Instrumentation – You can customize new STS configurations and upgrade existing testers to include the instrumentation resources you need while maintaining test program and load board transferability. 

  • Unified Software Experience – STS Software provides the tools needed to develop, debug, and deploy multisite test programs, including pin mapping, test limit importing/exporting, binning, and STDF reporting.

  • Prebuilt Test Code—You can use drag-and-drop software templates for common semiconductor test operations such as continuity checks, leakage tests, digital pattern bursts, or RF waveform generation or acquisition for the latest wireless standards like 5G NR.
  • Test Cell Integration—The standard docking and interfacing infrastructure allows for seamless integration with manipulators, device handlers for package test, and wafer probers for wafer test.

  • System Calibration – You can perform system-level in-situ calibration of digital and DC resources up to the spring probe interface and RF resources up to the blind mates, with options to consume vector de-embedding files for calibrating up to the DUT plane.

  • Services and Support—Comprehensive engineering services, bring-up services, training, and technical support help you get up and running quickly.

Which Solution Are You Interested In?

RF Front Ends and Transceivers

Wireless chipmakers know that time-to-market pressures and production test throughput are critical considerations when evaluating test solutions. For RF Front Ends, including power amplifiers (PAs), low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), RF switches, RF filters, and integrated RF front end modules (FEMs), STS provides significant test time and throughput advantages over competitive ATE solutions. NI’s heavy involvement in standards bodies and lab applications translates to strong experience and compelling solutions for the latest wireless standards, such as 5G NR and Wi-Fi 6. NI offers significant IP and cutting-edge instrumentation with industry-leading bandwidth that can help you accelerate your time to market.

Key Features


  • Integrated solutions for RF and mmWave wireless standards
  • Industry-leading 1 GHz bandwidth for complex RF measurements
  • Support for wireless standards, including GSM, TD SCDMA, WCDMA, LTE, LTE-A, 5G NR, and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Up to 48 bidirectional RF ports and 72 bidirectional mmWave ports
  • SPI, MIPI, and custom digital communication library for front end modules (FEMs)
  • Optional high-power RF - up to +40 dBm
  • Optional harmonics measurements - up to 18 GHz
  • Optional noise figure measurements - with Y-factor and cold source support

"A few of our other business units have already adopted STS, and it was some of their recommendations that first convinced our RF business unit to try it out for this Massive MIMO application. I’m very pleased by the progress, of course; in manufacturing, throughput is everything. Higher throughput means more devices shipped to our customers faster, which fundamentally means business results."

David Reed, Executive Vice President of Global Operations, NXP

IoT Microcontroller Devices

Semiconductor chipmakers know that the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to an increase in the diversity and volume of IoT microcontroller semiconductor devices with a cost-optimized price point that can be difficult to address with traditional ATE solutions. For microcontroller-based IoT devices with communication standards such as Bluetooth LE, NB-IoT, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee, STS provides a flexible production test platform that can scale up to meet expanding production volumes or scale down to meet constricting budgets.

Key Features


  • Industry-leading 1 GHz bandwidth for complex RF measurements 
  • Support for wireless connectivity standards, such as Bluetooth LE, NB-IoT, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee 
  • Optional audio input and output instrumentation resources 
  • Optional high-frequency signal generation and capture instrumentation resources

"When NI introduced STS, it was an obvious choice. Why wouldn’t we do it? It married PXI with ATE, which is exactly what we needed . . . We were able to save $60,000 per month and achieve a full return on our investment in less than two years. We increased our test coverage and improved our quality. Furthermore, because of the longevity of the PXI platform and the stability of NI, we are confident that we are investing in a platform that will be around for many years to come."

Warren Latter, Staff Test Engineer, ON Semiconductor

Mixed-Signal and MEMS Devices

Semiconductor chipmakers know that testing both typical and esoteric devices across diverse mixed-signal portfolios often leads to a broad range of test requirements. For mixed-signal devices, such as data converters, linear devices, communication interfaces, clocking and timing, and MEMS sensors and devices, STS provides a flexible production test platform that is a cost-effective option for migrating from legacy tester platforms or to offload capacity off of expensive ATE platforms.

Key Features


  • Common instrumentation options for mixed-signal and MEMS device test, including digital, 4-quadrant VI (source measure units), and high-frequency signal generation and capture
  • Interactive software that helps ease test program development, accelerate tester bring-up, and simplify debugging
  • Comprehensive measurement library that provides a higher level starting point for test program development
  • Optional high-frequency signal generation and capture instrumentation resources
  • Optional audio input and output instrumentation resources

"In the end, we found that STS was 30 percent faster, met all our success criteria, and was cheaper to purchase than renting traditional ATE."

John Cooke, Product Test Engineer, Cirrus Logic

Talk to a Technical Expert to Learn More About Semiconductor Test Solutions


STS Services and Support

NI offers extensive engineering and hardware specialized services and programs designed to meet the critical uptime needs of semiconductor test applications while helping to maximize efficiency, optimize tester performance, and achieve longevity. With every STS deployment, NI partners with you to determine the level of service that best meets your application needs and ensure long-term success.