Renegade-i (Programmable IC Tester That Feels Like the Real Thing)

Have you ever dreamt of having your own IC tester at home? Not just a gadget that can test IC, but a “programmable” machine that feels like one of the flagship product of the biggest players in the semicon test industry, such as Teradyne, Advantest, Verigy or Nextest. Advances in the technology of FPGA enabled manufacturers to pack huge amount of elements in a single chip at affordable prices. Combined this with the current trend in electronics toward modularization, and what you get is a cheap, “very programmable” IC tester that you can build at home using tools in your kitchen. And the best part is that it “feels like the real thing” from Teradyne or Nextest. That’s the million dollar question. The steady progress in electronics technology and the contributions of those little manufacturers who produce nice useful modules, empowered the innovative hobbyists to make their own cute useful gadgets. In fact, a skillful hobbyist could even build his own cellphone from off-the-shelf components, which is impossible for the hobbyist to do 12 years back. The same progress in electronics could trickle down to the semicon testers. I was waiting, that someday I can buy my own portable tester from ebay, but looks like it is not happening. Nobody is making it happen. Someone should make it happen. So, here I am. Starting to get the ball rolling. Inspiring someone out there to see how cool it is, and himself make a better version. And then someone else design an even better version. Each version getting us one step closer towards SKYNET. Anyway, I was hoping that I could become the next “Steve Wozniak” someday.”