FormFactor offers a full spectrum of proven test and measurement technologies and unmatched expertise in how to best integrate them from lab to fab.
Flicker noise and IC performance – low noise with high impact.
Flicker noise is a key factor in electronics, impacting device size and more. Flicker noise can cause background noise in smartphones and other communication devices, logic errors in low-voltage digital circuits, accuracy errors in A/D circuits, bit errors in Flash memory, and distortion in image sensors. As a key limiter of electronic device and circuit performance, this noise must be managed through optimizing materials, design and manufacturing process. Accurately measuring low frequency noise (LFN) at wafer level has become even more critical for advanced high-speed, low power technologies found in newer 5G devices and nanoscale transistors.
Wafer level LFN measurements include flicker noise (1/f), random telegraph signal noise (RTN or RTS), and phase noise. The application needs for wafer-level LFN measurements include:
1. Process design kit development
Semiconductor device foundries enable fabless design centers to design components such as transceivers for mobile phones, frequency synthesizers, analog-to-digital converters and much more. To make this possible, foundries must provide Process Design Kits (PDK’s) with simulation models that include noise effects on transistors (BJT, CMOS, etc.) and resistors, including LFN across all possible bias currents, temperatures and device geometries.
2. Manufacturing statistical process control and reliability
Device manufacturers can use noise measurements across their wafers as an early indicator of device reliability. Those devices that exhibit more noise are likely to fail sooner. Furthermore, for circuit applications where noise is a critical parameter, wafer level measurements may be used to track the evolution of noise performance across days, weeks and months of manufacturing.
PureLine™ 3 Technology
First automated probe station to achieve -190dB spectral noise*
Plug In and Go
Integrated TestCell Power Management provides fully managed and filtered AC power to the entire system, prober and instruments
Autonomous 24/7 Operation
Up to 4x faster flicker noise thermal testing on 30 μm pads
Reduce Setup Time and Costs
Exclusive low noise site survey, and system verification services
To demonstrate the significant improvements of PureLine 3 technology, the following data provides a comparison of “chamber” noise between two 300 mm probe stations as seen by a DC probe inside the probe station at the DUT level. Figure 1 shows the physical test setup using Keysight A-LNFA flicker noise system (E4727A), and DCP-HTR probes. In Figure 2, data is shown using the new CM300xi-ULN probing system, and in Figure 3, a standard CM300xi-F model. With the same test setup on the two probe stations, the significantly improved clean noise floor of the new ULN system is clearly observed.
Figure 1: Test setup for chamber noise data using Keysight E4727A (A-LFNA). 3 DCP-HTR probes connected to drain, source, gate terminals. All probes inside the probe station MicroChamber shielding environment.
A site survey performed by a FormFactor factory-trained engineer will determine the best location to install the ULN system. Customers will typically suggest 2 or 3 locations, and a survey will be done at each to measure and compare four critical noise sources:
A ULN System Verification is performed after every CM300xi- ULN probe station is installed. This specialized service uses FormFactor supplied test equipment, and includes a 50+ point checklist. Key product specification parameters are measured such as Spectral Noise Density (dBVrms/√Hz, 1Hz to 20MHz), and AC chuck noise (mV p-p, DC to 2.5GHz).