June 12, 2014
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At the 24th annual IEEE
Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) on Wednesday June 11, 2014,
I had the pleasure of presenting “International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors”. This presentation was co-authored with Dave Armstrong (Advantest) and Marc Loranger (FormFactor).
For the last fifteen years the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) has been looking fifteen years into the future. Based upon technology requirements and other inputs, ranging from the gate size of transistors to advanced packaging technology, the Test and Test Equipment Technical Working Group (Test TWG) has worked to develop the requirements for test technology and equipment.
The Test TWG is over seventy volunteers with deep technical expertise in test from around the world and from every sized company – Fortune 100 to individual consultants – and every type of company – semiconductor independent device manufacturer (IDM), fabless semiconductor, foundry, outsourced assembly and test (OSAT), automated test equipment (ATE) suppliers, prober, probe card, socket, handler, and more. Through Read the rest of this entry »
March 26, 2014
Wow! The Burn-in and Test Strategy (BiTS) Workshop just turned 15!
Thanks to the BiTS Committee for the hard work to make this a great event!
The world of semiconductors has certainly changed over the years. And the BiTS Workshop has kept up with what is “Now & Next” in the burn-in and test of packaged integrated circuits (ICs). These achievements were celebrated in style by the more than three hundred participants at the recently held 2014 BiTS Workshop in Mesa, Arizona.
“When the BiTS Workshop started in 2000, there were no Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2013
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I had the pleasure of presenting “Ideal 3D Stacked Die Test” in Session Two “Industry Trends and Advanced Packaging Challenges” of the 23rd annual IEEE
Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) on Monday June 10, 2013.
Integrated circuits using 2.5D advanced packaging are shipping. 3D packaging with thru-silicon vias (TSV) has been demonstrated. “5.5D” packages may not be far behind. Probe card suppliers have made progress building interconnect technology for the micro-bump arrays. Standards committees have started defining IC interface standards and test access protocols.
But what does the Test Engineer and Management really want? What can they afford? What are the most likely scenarios? Factors that determine which test technology can support the desired test flow are examined. In particular, probe card technology for probing TSV bumps and potential usage models are reviewed.
March 14, 2013
Sunset over Phoenix, Arizona during BiTS Workshop
As the Burn-in & Test Strategies (BiTS) Workshop 2013 fades into the sunset (queue the music), here is a round-up of the highlights. There were gun fights in the corral as well as technical questions for the presenters. The saloon girls and gunfighters took an edge off of the “geek” factor. This year over three hundred fifty people come to the “Circle BiTS Ranch” (aka the Hilton in Mesa, Arizona) for the premier conference focused on what is new and next for semiconductor test tooling and strategy. Oh, did I mention that the theme this year was Western?
This was the 14th annual BiTS Workshop, which has achieved the perfect conference trifecta of Read the rest of this entry »
July 9, 2012
Here are the highlights from Session Eight “Probe Process and Metrology” of the 22nd annual IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Wednesday June 13, 2012.
Rob Marcelis (BE Precision Technology ‐ The Netherlands), “H3D Profiler for Contact Less Probe‐Card Inspection”:
Probe cards require inspection since they are consumables subject to wear. Changes in probe position or shape can damage the semiconductor devices they are testing. As probe cards increase in size and probe count, the probe cards themselves are becoming more expensive to test in terms of test time and complexity. Each new test system typically requires an expensive “motherboard” for the probe card metrology tool to simulate the mechanics of the tester and provide electrical interconnect to the card for electrical testing.
BE Precision Technology took a different approach by Read the rest of this entry »
July 5, 2012
Here are the highlights from Session Seven “Fine Pitch Probing Challenges” of the 22nd annual IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Tuesday June 12, 2012.
Jose Horas (Intel Mobile Communications ‐ Germany), “28nm Mobile SoC Copper Pillar Probing Study”:
Intel Mobile Communications (IMC, previously Infineon Wireless) has started to switch from tin-silver (SnAg) solder bumps to copper pillars (CuP) with SnAg caps for attaching their die to packages. Since the bumps and pillars are formed on the wafer prior to testing of the devices the wafer probe process must accommodate both. CuP offer several advantages over SnAg bumps: tighter pitch (now at 120 µm and able to scale smaller versus 150 µm for SnAg bumps), lower substrate costs due to relaxed design rules, and lower assembly costs (easier to under fill).
The MicroProbe Apollo (vertical buckling beam) probe cards optimized for low force probing using 2.5 mil diameter probes were Read the rest of this entry »
July 3, 2012
Here are the highlights from Session Six “Meet the Challenge” of the 22nd annual IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Tuesday June 12, 2012.
Robert Stampahar (SV Probe ‐ An Ellipsiz Company) and Wally Haley (Qualcomm), “Meeting the 1st Silicon: An Alternate Approach for Reducing Probe Card Cycles”:
Unlike other devices which can be tested in packaged form using a test socket, wafer level chip scale packages (WLCSP) rely completely on wafer probe cards for test. A load board with a test socket can usually be designed and fabricated quickly enough that the bring up and debug of new silicon designs is not delayed. When using a wafer probe card that contains a multilayer ceramic (MLC) or multilayer organic (MLO) space transformer, the delivery of the probe card is Read the rest of this entry »