PHISTLES – Platform for high speed testing of large-area electronic systems

The large-area electronic display industry has found it economically essential to be able to perform in-line testing (and subsequent repair) of products for economic production. Similarly, the next generation of  large-area electronics (LAE) will require a new testing approach which is low cost (to economically match the low cost of LAE materials and processes) and effective at the high production speeds of printed logic - which can be over 1 million circuits per hour. As such, PHISTLES addressed the need for high speed testing of large-area electronics produced by reel-to-reel (r2r) manufacturing by employing a basic approach of developing a library of ‘Simultaneous Multiple Device Tests’ (SMUDTs). The key feature of the SMUDTs is that a small number of connections can be used to simultaneously test a large number of devices in parallel, whether these be analogue or digital. 

Project Objectives

  • to develop a model for cost-effective electrical testing of large-area electronics during roll-to-roll manufacture
  • to develop a library of techniques that can offer a step change in the cost and time for testing large-area electronics
  • to show how these could be integrated into a generic measurement platform which itself could be included in a production line
PHISTLES: Measurement Systems

Key Achievements

  • In the first year, the project successfully developed ‘Simultaneous Multiple Device Tests’ (SMUDTs) to address the need for high-speed testing of large-area electronics produced by reel-to-reel (R2R) manufacturing.
    • by connecting devices to form ring oscillators, tests could identify groups of logic gates where one device had failed - increasing measurement speed and reducing measurement cost by an order of magnitude compared with existing non-SMuDT methods.
  • Developed a library of testing scenarios. The generic SMuDT approach can be applied to a diversity of devices. This was demonstrated in a many case studies, including an Innovate UK-funded collaborative project (haRFest) in the field of RF anntennas.
Further details about PHISTLES
Posted in Past Projects.