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New Approach to Wafer-level Unattended Over-temperature Test

10 August 2010 - Cascade Microtech, Inc. announced two new probe station features that allow semiconductor manufacturers to perform on-wafer measurements and collect data over a wide range of temperatures, reducing time inefficiencies and increasing productivity. VueTrack provides on-site probe tip tracking and delivers highly accurate probe-to-pad alignment, and the new High Temperature Stability (HTS) enhancement helps to eliminate errors caused by thermal drift.

Most test plans call for gathering wafer test data over a series of temperatures. Thermally induced drift between probes and pads can result in alignment errors with most wafer probers, even with so-called semi-automatic probers. To maintain electrical contact, the alignment must be corrected at each new temperature. Since most analytical probers are not equipped with probe-to-pad-alignment (PTPA) systems, this alignment must be done manually, increasing process time and limiting test productivity.

The main sources of productivity loss during multiple-temperature testing are idle time, transition and die soak time, as well as PTPA error correction time. Cascade Microtech's new on-site PTPA error correction method dramatically increases the productivity of analytical probers in test labs by enhancing contact reliability and automating PTPA error correction. Assuming the electrical measurement time is optimized through the use of an analytical prober, the remaining time can be reduced through the use of the new VueTrack capabilities. Once you have incorporated VueTrack's unattended test capability you can achieve additional productivity gains with the HTS upgrade, which further reduces transition and die soak times.

"The goal of the system is to enable automatic corrections over temperature to maximize the amount of time our system is making measurements," said Michael Burger, president and CEO of Cascade Microtech. "Cascade Microtech has a long-standing commitment to reducing cost-of-test for our customers. This new feature set brings automation into the test lab, so that our customers can more effectively utilize advanced measurements to meet the market demands of semiconductor development."

The VueTrack option is now available as part of the NucleusTM 4.1 probe station control software release. In addition, the HTS enhancement can now be ordered for the SummitTM 12000B, the Elite300TM and the S300 probe stations.

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