SOURCE: Cascade Microtech

Cascade Microtech

September 28, 2010 09:25 ET

Cascade Microtech Improves Yield of Multi-Site RF Production Test With New S-Technology Pyramid Probe Cards

Improved Contact Physics Provide Consistent Mechanical Force Across Multi-Site Die

BEAVERTON, OR--(Marketwire - September 28, 2010) - Cascade Microtech, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCD), a global supplier of production probe cards with industry-leading signal integrity for multi-site die testing, today announced S-Technology™ for improved contact physics. S-Technology provides a unique mechanical architecture for Pyramid Probe® cards designed to consistently deliver evenly distributed contact force for solder bump technologies found in today's demanding high-volume production test environments.

Increased RF ports on ICs require higher performance Known-Good-Die (KGD) testing methodology
Bluetooth, FM, GPS, WiFi, WiMAX, Mobile TV and NFC are the catalysts of highly integrated and competitive wireless solutions in smart phones, consumer electronics, automotive and tablet PCs. Dominated by a combination of chip scale and wafer-level chip scale packaging techniques, which use solder bump technology, device manufacturers demand the highest performance Known-Good-Die (KGD) testing methodology to achieve yield goalsThe global market intelligence firm IDC predicts that multi-function wireless connectivity solutions, often referred to as "combo" devices, will account for nearly two-thirds of all wireless connectivity solutions shipped into mobile phones by 2012. To keep pace and meet increasingly stringent yield requirements, test engineers require cost-effective advanced probe technologies for multi-RF-port production wafer probe test.

S-Technology addresses at-speed multi-site KGD testing challenges and reduces the overall cost-of-ownership
S-Technology brings a state-of-the-art mechanical platform to the production-proven electrical performance of Cascade Microtech's Pyramid Probe cards for testing at up to 81 GHz operational frequencies. The Pyramid Probe card series is the only probe card product that can deliver at-speed KGD test across a multi-site probe allowing our customers to achieve greater yields at a higher throughput, reducing overall cost-of-ownership.

Improved contact physics reduce site-to-site variation
The major mechanical challenge facing engineers testing increasing numbers of RF die using a multi-site probe is uneven force distribution. This causes inconsistent contact across the solder balls, which can lead to site-to-site test variation which in turn reduces yield. The unique S-Technology mechanical architecture delivers 20g per tip with improved planarity, which ensures excellent contact characteristics and minimal contact resistance. Cascade Microtech's mechanically isolated Pyramid Probe head delivers transmission lines all the way to the solder bump, ensuring superior RF signal integrity for up to 2000 probe tips on a larger probe face.

New cleaning methodologies extend probe card life
S-Technology features a new NanoScrub™ technology that removes contaminants on each touchdown, maintaining low and stable contact resistance. This increases the production testing up-time by reducing the time between cleaning cycles, which minimizes maintenance overhead and extends probe card lifetime -- typically to over a million touchdowns.

"Our customers are demanding reliable, repeatable performance at production wafer test," said Michael Burger, president and CEO, Cascade Microtech, Inc. "We've responded with a new, more robust technology that provides consistent probe tip contact across multiple die while simultaneously delivering low inductance and low contact resistance. We are excited about early results, where we are providing a greater than one percent yield gain during RF KGD testing."

Pyramid Probes with new S-Technology are now being used in multiple worldwide sites testing leading-edge wireless devices. To learn more about Pyramid Probe products, visit www.cascademicrotech.com.

About Cascade Microtech, Inc.
Cascade Microtech, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCD) is a worldwide leader in the precise electrical and mechanical measurement and test of integrated circuits (ICs) and other small structures. For technology businesses and scientific institutions that need to evaluate small structures, Cascade Microtech delivers access to electrical data from wafers, integrated circuits (ICs), IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMS, 3D TSV, LED devices and more. Cascade Microtech's leading-edge semiconductor production test products include unique probe cards and test sockets that reduce manufacturing costs of high-speed and high-density semiconductor chips. For more information visit www.cascademicrotech.com.