Keithley, Mesatronic to make probe cards

November 7, 2006 – Keithley Instruments Inc. and French firm Mesatronic Group have signed a deal to develop advanced probe cards for semiconductor parametric testers used in RF and low current DC applications. The probe ultralow DC current parameters on any combination of probe pins, according to William Merkel, marketing director for Keithley’s parametric test product group.

The probes will utilize Mesatronic’s die-on-die technology for vertical probing, allowing a reduced scrub length suitable for smaller 30-micron test pads, vs. 50-micron restrictions with conventional cantilever probe technology, the companies stated. A key addition is a new spatial transformer that interfaces the probe card with a flexible membrane circuit structure in the center of the prober, where probe needles are attached.

The new “any pin” RF/DC probe card design will incorporate both RF and DC measurements within a single wafer insertion without having to swap cards and reload/realign wafers, enabling higher test system throughput, according to the companies. Users will be able to measure RF and low current DC signals on any combination of prober pins by simply changing the type of cabling and termination used for the RF and DC pins.

The probe cards will be added to Keithley’s S600 series parametric testers, enabling single-insertion DC/RF wafer measurements for automated process monitoring, including fully automated single-pass calibration during testing.


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