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Parametric probe cards reduce cost of tests at 45nm

Posted: 01 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:probe card? 45nm? CMOS?

Cascade Microtech has launched two new Pyramid parametric probe cards that allow single-pass high performance DC and RF measurements and reduce the cost of parametric production test for semiconductors with advanced processes nodes at 65nm, 45nm and beyond.

The probe cards leverage Cascade's new Pyramid Plus parametric probe card manufacturing technology. Pyramid Plus provides greater mechanical performance, lower leakage, low contact resistance and lowest inductance to rapidly deliver the most accurate and reliable measurements of ever-smaller process monitoring test structures.

The exclusive Pyramid Plus membrane manufacturing process enables multiple specification improvements such as 1fA with a 5-second settling time; enhanced parametric and leakage performance; and reliable contact on smaller test pads. Cascade's membrane technology also has the ability to integrate 20GHz transmission lines and guarded traces to the probe tip, respectively reducing crosstalk and improving settling time.

"As silicon technologies shrink, process monitoring test structures located in the scribe lines are creating electrical and mechanical challenges," said Geoff Wild, CEO, Cascade. "It is harder than ever to accurately and reliably probe smaller pads on silicon wafers during yield monitoring, process control monitoring and wafer acceptance testing with existing needle technology."

As chip geometries decrease and process complexities increase, the difficulties of measuring key parametric indicators include smaller DC currents, lower leakages, and tighter interconnection geometries. In addition, RF techniques are becoming critical production tests to measure RF passive components, high-speed CMOS technologies, and circuit reactance on small junctions. Cascade's advanced Pyramid probe card technology is unique in its ability to make these low-level DC measurements while at the same time facilitating RF measurements in a single solution. No other probe card technology provides the flexibility to make high-performance DC and RF measurements from the same card.

Low cost of ownership
As wafer manufacturers continue to strive to maximize the die yield per wafer by reducing the width of scribe lines located between functional die, shrinking probe pads on parametric test structures are becoming increasingly difficult to contact. Pyramid Plus technology enables probing of 30?m? probe pads. Cascade's MicroScrub technology nets smaller scrub marks and uniform marking, yielding less particle generation that can contaminate the wafer, essential for in-line parametric testing. In addition, MicroScrub allows the same probe card to be used for both Cu and Al pads, reducing the number of probe cards, probers and setups, lowering the cost of ownership. The permanent probe tip alignment and consistent low contact resistance of Pyramid probes extend the probe card lifetime, setting a new standard in low maintenance overhead.

The parametric Pyramid Probe cards are available in either DC only (PDC50) or DC plus RF (PRF50) configurations, with options for pad size and leakage specifications. The probe cards are available for order immediately; price and delivery times vary depending upon configuration. The new Pyramid parametric probe cards are compatible with Keithley S600 Series and Agilent 4070/4080 Series parametric testers for performing precision DC and RF parametric tests.




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