As the U.S. Chips and Science Act starts to roll out across the country, a significant hurdle has emerged that could impact its
ultimate success: an anticipated shortfall of over 50,000 engineers by 2030. This forecast is of particular interest in Arizona
where there are increased manufacturing activities underway but growth plans have been stymied by a lack of engineering talent.
To address this challenge, NXP and Advantest Corporation have collaborated with Arizona State University (ASU) to develop a
pioneering engineering curriculum. The EEE 522 Radio Frequency Test, is a dynamic course that combines academic excellence with
technical prowess to develop top talents.
NXP and Advantest pooled their expertise to create stimulating laboratory experiments during the spring 2023 semester, elevating
the course’s allure. The course, which will be offered each year, originated from the curriculum developed by ASU's Ira A.
Fulton Schools of Engineering faculty.
L-R: Paul Hirsch (Advantest), Ishaan Bassi (ASU), Dr. Sule Ozev (ASU), Raghu Maddali (NXP), Duane Brown (Advantest).
The Need for Mastering RF Circuit Testing
The EEE 522 course provides a deep dive into contemporary production test methods for mixed-signal and RF circuits. It deals
with the economics behind production testing and cutting-edge cost-reducing research techniques. This helps students master test
conditions, write optimized programs, decode measurement data, spot potential manufacturing glitches and automate the test
journey — giving them hands-on real-world semiconductor engineering experience.
The idea for this course emerged in mid-2022 when NXP and Advantest recognized two critical factors. Firstly, the increasing
construction of wafer fabrication facilities in Arizona, already home to several advanced chip manufacturing plants, was
anticipated to boost the demand for test engineers. Secondly, local university engineering programs lacked courses tailored to
train engineers for the semiconductor test industry. NXP and Advantest, both with multiple Arizona locations, approached ASU
with the proposal and received an enthusiastic response.
The Result of True Collaboration
The collaboration has resulted in a visionary, new curriculum which holds lots of promises for students.
“The course is a great example of what can happen when there’s a true collaboration between industry and academia,”
Raghu Maddali, Senior Director of Test Engineering at NXP
“NXP, in partnership with Advantest, collaborated with ASU to lead the way here. Cutting-edge ATE equipment, coupled with the
latest software, offers an excellent opportunity for students to acquaint themselves with the challenges faced by test
engineering, equipping them to step confidently into real-world scenarios. I’m very happy for the inaugural graduating class and
extend my best wishes for their success.”
Dr. Sule Ozev showing the test circuitry developed for the ASU class to Raghu Maddali, Paul Hirsch and Duane Brown
Bright minds. Bright futures. NXP team members create breakthrough technologies that advance our world. The future starts here.
Long-Term Commitment to Empowering Future Engineers
Both NXP and Advantest combined resources to ensure the course’s success. Advantest rolled out their cutting-edge V93000
SoC test system at ASU Research Park in Tempe. Plus, experts from NXP and Advantest will guide students through immersive
experiments that solidify classroom knowledge and let them dive into the world of leading-edge automated testing (ATE)
Speaking about the new program, ASU’s Dr. Sule Ozev said. “It’s exciting to be part of a program that will provide the
semiconductor industry with a new generation of much-needed test engineers.” Paul Hirsch, Senior Global Account Manager at
Advantest, added: “What started with an idea shared between two colleagues quickly blossomed into a tangible means of providing
real-world training that will help prepare students for high-demand positions while further supporting our industry and
Arizona’s economy.” NXP and Advantest are highly invested in Arizona through their multiple locations. They are committed to
offering continuous support for the existing course, as well as any prospective new courses that may be offered to the program
in the future.
About Advantest Corporation
Advantest (TSE: 6857) is the leading manufacturer of automatic test and measurement equipment used in the design and production
of semiconductors for applications including 5G communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles,
high-performance computing (HPC), including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and more. Its leading-edge
systems and products are integrated into the most advanced semiconductor production lines in the world. The company also
conducts R&D to address emerging testing challenges and applications; develops advanced test-interface solutions for wafer
sort and final test; produces scanning electron microscopes essential to photomask manufacturing; and offers system-level test
solutions and other test-related accessories. Founded in Tokyo in 1954, Advantest is a global company with facilities around the
world and an international commitment to sustainable practices and social responsibility. More information is available at