MicroProbe debuts MEMS-based, multi-DUT, ultra-fine-pitch probe card for IC wafer test

(July 13, 2010) — MicroProbe Inc., supplier of wafer test technology to the global semiconductor industry, released the MEMS-based Mx-FinePitch (Mx-FP) probe card. The test card series targets ultra-fine-pitch testing of leading-edge SoC and logic devices found in applications like digital cameras, set-top boxes and digital TVs.

Built for probing multiple devices under test (DUT) in high-volume semiconductor production environments, the product requires no probe positioning adjustments throughout its lifetime. It is customizable for diverse application needs, providing design flexibility for SoC feature integration. Chief advantages include higher throughput, longer life and lower maintenance, according to the company.

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Features include fine-pitch probing, scalable down to 40µm in-line and 20µm/40µm staggered layouts; maximum pad layout flexibility, with minimal design-rule restrictions; in-die core pads and multi-row-pad accessibility; low contact force, suiting probing over active circuitry and testing devices incorporating low-k materials; replaceable MEMS probes for easy maintenance; and a small scrub area offering die-size reduction opportunities for pad-limited devices.

Multi-DUT testing is seeing increasing use as a means of reducing test costs for complex price-sensitive consumer ICs. At the same time, the combination of shrinking packaging geometries and the incorporation of new materials like low-k dielectric films, present new and unique challenges for test engineers. In particular, low-k films demand low probe force and minimal pad damage during wafer contact to prevent device damage and yield loss. These factors, along with other typical challenges associated with smaller geometries, further complicate testing, especially during high-volume production, where conventional probe cards require regular positioning adjustments to ensure accurate alignment. The adjustment requirements increase in frequency in multi-DUT environments which hinders production uptime. MicroProbe’s low-force Mx-FP needs no positioning adjustments throughout its lifetime, making it an uptime-enabler and an ideal new probe card for high-volume production.

“The Mx-FP probe card offers superior electrical performance in a scalable, robust, production-proven architecture. This combination provides the highest possible yields, while maximizing utilization rates and throughput of expensive test cells,” said Mike Slessor, CEO, MicroProbe. “We developed the product in collaboration with our customers, in anticipation of the technical and cost challenges they faced as they moved their advanced devices into high-volume production. The Mx-FP exploits the advanced MEMS technology featured in our Vx-MP and Vx-RF probe cards.”

MicroProbe provides advanced wafer test solutions to global semiconductor manufacturers. For more information, please visit www.microprobe.com

To get the latest coverage of SEMICON West, visit http://www.electroiq.com/index/Semiconductors/semiconwest2010.html

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