Centipede, Topline Team Up on Test

(December 3, 2008) SAN JOSE, CA &#151 Centipede Systems, manufacturer of connectors and sockets for electrical test, is partnering with TopLine to develop a cost-effective test evaluation tool. The venture calls for Centipede and TopLine to produce evaluation kits for alternative contactor technologies aimed at high-performance burn-in testing for semiconductor devices.

According to the companies, the kits will include test vehicle BGA devices and socket contactors required to validate current, power, and reliability up to a maximum of 10 amps/pin. TopLine’s contribution is a mechanical, lead-free 45-mm2 BGA dummy package that features 1936 solder balls with 1.0-mm pitch and 968 pairs of known-zero ohm connections. The connections are available “daisy-chained” or as fully shorted busses to enable the Centipede contactor pin-out to be appropriately tested in the test user’s early design stage.

Tom Di Stefano, Ph.D., president and CEO of Centipede Systems, explained that high-performance processors demand more current for power and ground as operating voltages fall to 1 volt and lower. “Supplying clean power to the IC, where supply voltages narrow the supply-noise margins, has become a daunting challenge for test and burn-in. Furthermore, burn-in requires even more current than test because leakage current increases with temperature.” He said that thermal acceleration of leakage current has been the dominant issue in burn-in of processors at and below the 45-nm node, and requires burn-in sockets to supply 5–8&#215 more current than test sockets. The problem gets worse with each succeeding processor generation, he said.


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