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August 20, 2013

Approaches for Reducing the Cost of High Pin Count Probe Card Test

Silicon Semiconductor, August 2013

The cost of high pin count probe card testing can be reduced significantly by eliminating the requirement that cards be tested under conditions that emulate the high mechanical loads they are subjected to in use. In most cases, no-load measurements can provide all the information needed.

Semiconductor manufacturers use electronic testing to detect devices that do no work and to grade the performance of devices that do work. The testing is performed by testers that use flexible, needle like probes, precisely positioned on a probe card, to contact test pads on each circuit, usually after wafer fabrication is complete but before the wafer is cut into separate die. In recent years the number of contacts per circuit and the number of circuits tested simultaneously have both grown dramatically as circuits have become more complex and manufacturers have sought to increase the speed of the testing process.

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