News & Analysis

Advantest achieves ASPICE Level 2 Certification

10th July 2024
Sheryl Miles

Semiconductor test equipment supplier Advantest has announced that its SmarTest 8 system software, used to develop complex test programs for the company’s flagship V93000 SoC test platform, has been assessed Automotive SPICE Capability Level 2 compliant by Kugler Maag Cie of UL Solutions.

This strategic designation, achieved following an intensive assessment process completed in February 2024, assures customers entering the automotive market of SmarTest 8’s reliability for embedded automotive applications.

The Automotive Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination (ASPICE) standard was developed by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), to address the software development needs of the automotive industry for all vehicles, both fuel-powered and electric. Vehicle OEMs use ASPICE to assess the quality of their suppliers’ processes, making ASPICE compliance vital to establishing and enforcing quality best practices.

Semiconductor content is becoming increasingly prevalent in cars, extending beyond devices to encompass autonomous driving capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) engines, as well as connected-car requirements and software-defined vehicles. To ensure its ability to meet the associated test requirements, Advantest has begun rolling out its Engineering 2.0 agile processes to SmarTest 8 teams globally to ensure all sites will be implementing ASPICE-compliant solutions.

Advantest customer Qualcomm Technologies, whose software-based Snapdragon Cockpit Platform is utilised by nearly all major automakers worldwide, was a chief proponent of Advantest’s efforts to secure ASPICE compliance as part of Advantest’s software quality-improvement initiatives.

Michael Campbell, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, stated: “The significance of testing has grown exponentially alongside the increasing complexity of in-vehicle technology and capabilities. At Qualcomm Technologies, we recognise the critical importance of rigorous testing and validation processes for modern vehicles. Our support of Advantest through the ASPICE assessment process underscores this commitment. By achieving ASPICE compliance for SmarTest 8, Advantest is now exceptionally positioned to enhance the quality and predictability of ATE test processes, aligning with the high standards we set for Snapdragon Digital Chassis solutions.”

Volker Friedrich, Advantest’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, added: “Because ASPICE enables broad improvement and evaluation of business practices, all of Advantest’s semiconductor customers, who are using the V93000, such as Qualcomm Technologies, are benefitting from our agile Engineering 2.0 processes. This goal has been on our radar for some time, having attained ASPICE Level 1 certification for SmarTest in 2021. Our focus on continuous improvement enabled us to secure Capability Level 2 through this recent assessment and come extremely close to meeting all Level 3 requirements, which we anticipate accomplishing in the future. We have been guided and supported on our process improvement journey by Kugler Maag Cie of UL Solutions.”

Introduced in 2017, SmarTest 8 for the V93000 platform builds on previous versions of the software to offer fast test-program development, efficient debug, and characterisation high throughput due to automated optimisation, faster time to market, ease of test-block reuse, and efficient collaboration. SmarTest 8 features a modular test program structure and test-oriented use model and supports all V93000 test cards.

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