Azimuth Case Studies for Semiconductor Vendors

Case Studies from the Real World

Azimuth Systems is a leading provider of wireless test solutions for 
Wi-Fi, WiMAX and 4G wireless technologies like LTE and 802.16m. Azimuth’s test solutions are used by the world’s foremost wireless semiconductor, device manufacturers, infrastructure vendors and service providers to speed time-to-market and improve wireless IP performance. Azimuth’s test solutions simplify laboratory performance and certification testing of mobile IP devices and networks designed to support data, voice and video applications.

Semiconductor Vendors

Leading semiconductor vendors rely on Azimuth Systems test solutions for engineering development, design validation, and quality assurance testing of their reference design platforms and modules. As the foundation of the supply chain, silicon suppliers must assure their customers and their customers’ manufacturing partners that their designs will both perform and conform to various standardized certification benchmarks. Leading silicon vendors realize this requirement demands test processes that are standard and can be replicated throughout the supply chain.

As wireless IP data services become embedded in cell phones, set top boxes and service provider networks, the expectation for “carrier grade” wireless service evolves. Carrier grade wireless carries an expectation of robust testing to ensure the ultimate end users’ quality of service for such real-time applications as voice and video. The silicon supplier must establish a culture that “good enough is not good enough.” Performance must be measured and continuously improved as the new benchmark for carrier grade wireless is a wired connection. Furthermore, certification of4G devices requires extensive interoperability and conformance testing.

Forward-thinking and pace-setting silicon suppliers embrace the responsibility for delivering products that deliver seamless mobility and interoperability with carrier grade quality of service. These leaders rely on Azimuth to provide the test platforms and solutions that form the heart of a culture of performance and improvement. They view testing not as a cost but as an investment—an investment in performance and market differentiation.

Leading silicon suppliers developing wireless solutions use Azimuth’s test solutions to:

  • Demonstrate performance expectations and benchmarks to customers and potential customers
  • Differentiate their products
  • Speed time-to-market
  • Establish uniformity of test equipment between engineering development, design validation test, and quality assurance, reducing difficulty and time associated with correlation
  • Establish automated performance test processes
  • Establish automated certification and conformance test processes
  • Manage the customer and ODM ecosystem such that automated, repeatable testing forms a basis of integration, efficiency, and co-operation

The following examples illustrate the circumstances our silicon vendor customers have encountered in testing their products and the successful outcomes Azimuth has enabled.

These real-world examples include brief customer profiles and the testing challenges met with Azimuth solutions, while preserving the anonymity in each case.

Example #1

Customer Profile

One of the world’s leading Wi-Fi silicon suppliers

Customer Challenge

  • Automate software regression performance and certification testing
  • Reduce the time spent correlating results between development engineering, design validation, and quality assurance
  • Reduce the time spent correlating between geographically dispersed development sites

Key Questions

  1. Can a suite of performance tests be standardized and automated including rate vs. range, roaming, ACI, diversity, and receive sensitivity, among others?
  2. Can correlation difficulties between engineering development test and quality assurance test be reduced?
  3. Can test be used as a competitive advantage?

Azimuth’s Solution

The silicon supplier has positioned Azimuth’s W-Series test platforms at the heart of their engineering development, design validation and quality assurance testing processes with the following applications and results:

  1. Adopting Azimuth’s automated performance test scripts as a foundation the customer has evolved the TCL-based scripts in accordance with their own metrics and criteria. A completely automated, wide ranging suite of performance tests including rate vs. range tests, roaming tests, ACI tests, diversity tests, and receive sensitivity tests has been established and has been integrated into the customer’s software build and test processes. Various application specific “bundled” solutions (e.g., rate vs. range) have been installed throughout engineering and DVT to solve issues early—during the development process rather than later, in QA. The customer has dramatically shifted time and money from running tests to developing tests and analyzing the results leading to higher product quality through rapid quality improvement cycles of discover/isolate/fix.
  2. Automation of precertification testing using Azimuth’s Wi-Fi automation test scripts has reduced precertification testing from five days of manual effort to overnight, automated runs. The result is integration of precertification testing into nightly regression tests, decreasing time-to-market. Lab-based certification tests have now become “validation” events as opposed to “debugging” events. Time spent at labs has been greatly reduced.
  3. The customer has deployed standardized Azimuth configurations throughout quality assurance and engineering development. A great reduction in time spent correlating results that could not be replicated is now invested in fixing issues that are repeatable and in raising the “performance” bar. Lack of repeatability has been eliminated as a wedge between organizations, and the ability to measure precisely and replicate has become a foundation of product and process improvement.
  4. The use of Azimuth’s standardized and automated platforms allows for performance benchmarking against competitive products. The benchmarking process allows for organizational focus on improving beyond competitors offerings. The reduction in time spent running tests is invested productively in product improvement—ultimately using testing a key weapon in carving out competitive advantage. The ability to point customers and potential customers toward state-of-the-art, precise, repeatable, and objective test processes to demonstrate superior product performance and superior ongoing test differentiates the customer from silicon suppliers that still rely on manual, nonstandard, ad hoc methods that are subject to inquiry. The customer enjoys a particular benefit from OEMs using Azimuth solutions in their own test processes.