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RZ system cuts probe mask production time

Posted: 20 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:rz enterprises? ps-1000? wafer probe alignment-mask generator?

RZ Enterprises Inc. has disclosed that its PS-1000 device is the first rapid wafer probe alignment-mask generator for the semiconductor test probe card industry.

The system improves mask quality, cuts probe mask production time, and reduces mask costs by 27 percent. The technology traces its roots back to the early days of semiconductor processing, when it was used for step-and-repeat lithography of wafers and photomasks. According to president and founder Richard Ziegra, "The new alignment mask generator is based on 1960s wafer stepper technology, but utilizes the latest advances in motion control, computer interface, and environmental control."

The PS-1000 runs automatically, accurately positioning the exposures based on x-y coordinate data specific to the circuit to be tested, with the resulting hard-surface alignment targets stable and robust. Standard negative-resist-coated chrome plates are simply exposed, developed, and etched to form a precisely positioned array of doughnut-shaped opaque alignment targets on a transparent field. Each target is generated with one exposure and avoids the time-consuming fractured data scheme required to create circular geometries, which requires multiple exposures for each target.

With a UV exposure rate of approximately 2000-target exposures/hour, probe alignment masks are generated rapidly with a placement accuracy of 0.5?m. Probe masks that previously took four hours to expose can be completed in 30 min.

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