Supercharging legacy software by enhancing performance and scalability | HCLTech

Supercharging legacy software by enhancing performance and scalability

Accelerated testing process for a multinational Automated Test Equipment manufacturer
7 min read
7 min read

About the client

Our client is one of the world’s leading Automated Test Equipment (ATE) manufacturers, collaborating with HCLTech to modernize and enhance the performance and scalability of their legacy software.

The Challenge

With a primary goal of staying competitive in the industry and meeting the evolving demands of their customers, our client sought to revolutionize their testing capabilities.

  • Optimizing chip testing for enhanced efficiency: There was a need to increase the efficiency of the chip testing process to match the industry’s growing complexity and demands.
  • Integration of advanced capabilities: Required to integrate advanced testing capabilities into their existing software to enhance the chip testing for improved functionality and features.
  • Migration to 64-bit: The software needed to be upgraded from 32-bit to 64-bit, along with upgrading the operating system running the tester computer.

These challenges collectively posed barriers for the customer in enhancing the legacy software's performance, scalability and testing capabilities.

The Objective

Our team came up with a strategic plan to enhance our client's testing software performance and achieve greater scalability. The key objectives included:

  • Retaining front-end experience: The look and feel of the front end needed to be retained without changing the business logic or engine.
  • Enhancing load and validation efficiency: The software performance to load and run needed to be empowered for efficient time management and seamless operations.
  • Streamlining memory footprint: Maximizing the software performance with efficient memory management was necessary for loading the test program.

Our Approach and Solution

Our extensive presence in the industry for over two decades, coupled with our state-of-the-art labs, testing infrastructure, solutions, accelerators and frameworks, positioned us as the preferred partner for our client. When they approached us with their unique challenges, our team of experts meticulously analyzed their pain points and thoroughly understood their requirements, allowing us to deliver exceptional results. Drawing on our deep product expertise and profound understanding of the industry, we swiftly identified the scalability and maintainability issues within their legacy software. To address these issues effectively, our ATE software design architects, specializing in product testing and software development, were quickly deployed to reduce the software development cycle by a year.

  • Re-architected the product and prepared a prototype
  • Devised compatibility tests for the legacy software, ensuring that the modified prototype passed performance and memory benchmarks
  • Improved the prototype capabilities to include scalability and maintainability
  • Reduced and reorganized the code base, making it more efficient while still maintaining the functionality of the original code base
  • Improved IC testing efficiency to streamline operations and achieve optimal results

The ATE working model

Our industry-leading experts have strong capabilities in both the semiconductor domain and software languages, enabling us to develop and design a comprehensive architecture for complex legacy systems. The ATE working model has been developed inhouse, learning from decades of past customer experiences. In this model, the user creates a test program to feed the device’s specifications, and the data transfer layers facilitate the data flow. Through this, the programming language calls special APIs from the data transfer layer to software or HAL to drive instruments to test the IC. Then, the test program applies a series of commands to the tester/instrument, applies them to the ICs, measures the results and sends them back to the software to determine the qualification of the device.

The Impact

Our collaboration with the multinational ATE manufacturer yielded significant benefits, empowering them to achieve remarkable testing capabilities and overall performance advancements. Our solution helped them overcome challenges, achieve unprecedented efficiency and unlock substantial value. Some key highlights include:

  • Improved multi-site capability, enabling testing of multiple chips-up to 512 ICs — simultaneously
  • Enhanced scalability by adding new instrument drivers for plug-and-play functionality
  • Re-designed the software, decoupling dependencies and enhancing its flexibility and modularity
  • Developed custom tools for software code generation, significantly reducing the time and effort required for development tasks

We are committed to continuing our collaborative efforts, driving innovation and delivering exceptional value to the client as their trusted partner.