The Importance of Test Strategies for Multimedia ChipsetsJune 29, 2020 by Chroma
Multimedia chipsets must exhibit a variety of characteristics to be considered for use in designs. Measuring their effectiveness requires a well-designed testing strategy.
Multimedia chipsets support capabilities for graphics and audio in a wide variety of applications and industries, including voice interactive smart devices, security systems based on facial recognition, virtual reality gaming, HUDs (heads-up displays) for military defense, and drones to monitor and track endangered species. Trends in the development of multimedia chipsets currently include embedded filters, active noise cancellation, support of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G RF, improved battery, and power management.
Figure 1. Example of a multimedia chipset ecosystem
For the exchange of multimedia data to be effective and accurate, these chipsets must exhibit characteristics such as low latency, efficient power consumption, high-efficiency codecs for video, and audio compression/decompression. To truly measure the effectiveness of multimedia chipsets, it is important to have a well-designed testing strategy.
The Impact of Testing Strategy on Multimedia Chipsets
Product evaluation for SoC and multimedia chipsets typically includes measurements related to audio quality, power management, high-density RF transmission, platform conversion, embedded high-speed buses, and other key features that increase the complexity of testing. Different types of data may also be involved, including analog, digital, mixed, and wireless RF. It is also key that the software package chosen supports the right programming environments and facilitates the editing of test programs, including parameters and test sequences.
The testing strategy chosen will have a major impact on the success of the multimedia chipsets to which it is applied, and this goes beyond the type of tests that need to be performed. The combination of an optimized testing strategy with the right equipment for performing those tests can reduce the costs of testing through improved manufacturing throughput, and those reduced costs can be passed on to the customer. Wise choices with regard to testing can also speed up the time to market for a product, especially when there are industry standards that must be met.
The right multimedia chip testing strategy will shorten the time spent in debugging and support a much more efficient program development process. The wrong choice in tests and testing instruments can lead to a product that is unreliable, unsafe, and unable to meet customer requirements. Such a product can prove dangerous, especially for mission-critical applications. Poorly chosen test strategies or strategies implementing the wrong type of test equipment will lead to serious delays in time to market and program development, as well as deterioration in customer relations and company reputation.
Chroma’s Multimedia Chipset Testing Strategies
Multimedia chipsets are an integral part of today’s data transfer, and the key to their success is proven performance and adherence to industry regulations. Investment in an appropriate testing strategy, such as the 3680 Advanced SoC Test System, should be integrated with carefully selected tools, instrumentation, and software offers many benefits beyond basic performance evaluation, including lower testing costs, a shortened time to market, and a more efficient debugging process. In short, no company can afford to go with the wrong testing strategy for multimedia chipsets.
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