How to Increase the Probe Card Active Area

Cameron Harker and Yohannes Desta, Ph.D., recently presented at the SWTest 2021 Conference. Their presentation – Challenges of Expanding Large Area Arrays for Fine Pitch Vertical Probe Cards – was awarded the Best Data Presentation of the Conference.

How to Increase the Probe Card Active Area

Image Credit: FormFactor

Semiconductor manufacturers are on an unrelenting mission to bring down the total cost of testing at sort. A significant contributing factor to reducing the cost of tests is increasing simulations of the Device Under Test, which necessitates a subsequent increase in the probe card active area.

FormFactor has worked on the development of new probe card architecture to tackle the complexities of fine pitch, high CCC and high temperature range for applications in wire bond probing.

One industry that is leading the uptake of this new probe card architecture is the automotive semiconductor market. It is anticipated that the automotive IC market will grow to about $40 billion in 2021, with a projected 16.8% CAGR between 2021 – 2025.

If the increased demand and chip shortage due to the impact of the pandemic is factored in, the timing for this new probe card architecture is excellent.

Challenges for automotive semiconductor tests that the new probe card architecture addresses include:

  • Automotive suppliers are driving reduced costs to stay competitive
  • Dense device circuitry under the pads
  • Devices can be sensitive to CRES and CRES variation
  • Pad pitch continues to shrink
  • Pad sizes are being reduced to support die size shrinks
  • Structures are typically peripheral pads for wire bond applications
  • Test temperature extremes continue to increase

To ensure these challenges are met, and to enhance the probe card active area, FormFactor designed a new probe card architecture – Large Area Arrays (LAA). For further information on this new architecture and how it serves the increasing demands of the automotive IC market, download the presentation here (PDF).

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by FormFactor.

For more information on this source, please visit FormFactor.

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