FormFactor Announces Breakthrough Improvements in Productivity for RF Probe Systems
June 12, 2018
Contact Intelligence™ technology enables accurate, autonomous measurement and faster time to market
LIVERMORE, CA– (Globe Newswire – June 12, 2018) – FormFactor, Inc. (NASDAQ:FORM), a leading electrical test and measurement supplier to the semiconductor industry, today announced that it has extended its Contact Intelligence technology. With Contact Intelligence, FormFactor’s advanced probe systems automatically and autonomously adapt in real time to changes in the testing environment, enabling customers to collect large amounts of RF data faster. As the race to bring 5G devices to market heats up, this addresses the need for higher productivity, to reduce time to market.
FormFactor’s Contact Intelligence technology combines smart hardware design and innovative software algorithms to provide accurate probe-to-pad alignment and electronic recalibrations in engineering labs and many production applications. With the introduction of its new RF solution, FormFactor now has specialized Contact Intelligence applications for RF, DC and Silicon Photonics (SiPh) testing.
New high frequency IC’s, such as 5G (with multiple high frequency bands from sub-6 to more than 70 GHz) and automotive communication devices, need the highest quality process design kits (PDK’s) to ensure working devices at first iteration. Traditional systems and methods require engineers to invest significant time for recalibration when the system invariably drifts, or to reposition probes with intentional changes in test temperatures. At higher frequencies, calibrations and measurements are more sensitive to probe placement errors and there is more calibration drift, so recalibration is required more often. Over time and temperature, Contact Intelligence automatically makes these adjustments with no operator intervention, resulting in more devices tested in less time, for more accurate PDK’s and faster time to market.
In DC applications, Contact Intelligence automatically senses preset temperatures, and responds by waiting the correct amount of time until the system is stabilized. This allows lengthy test routines to be conducted over multiple temperatures without an operator present. Contact Intelligence also provides dynamic probe-to-pad alignment, even on pads as small as 25 µm, employing a combination of smart software, probe tip recognition algorithms and advanced programmable positioners.
FormFactor’s integrated SiPh solution allows sub-micron manipulation of optical fibers positioned above the wafer, automatically optimizing fiber coupling position. Contact Intelligence uses machine vision technology to automate Theta X, Y and Z axis calibrations and alignments enabling measurements out of the box, reducing what used to take days or weeks to a matter of minutes. When combined with autonomous DC and RF, measurement options expand from Optical-Optical to include Photo-Diodes, Optical Modulators and more.
“FormFactor’s Contact Intelligence sets our advanced probe stations apart from what’s available to our customers today,” said FormFactor CEO Mike Slessor. “With automatic and autonomous adjustment for variations over temperature and time, we’ve provided a new operating model for test engineers. This is another example of how FormFactor provides faster time-to-data with less operator intervention, speeding our customers’ time to market.”
FormFactor’s new autonomous RF system will be shown at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2018 in Philadelphia, June 12-14, in booth 1531. For more information, visit https://www.formfactor.com/contactintelligence.
FormFactor, Inc. (NASDAQ:FORM), is a leading provider of essential test and measurement technologies along the full IC life cycle – from characterization, modeling, reliability, and design debug, to qualification and production test. Semiconductor companies rely upon FormFactor’s products and services to accelerate profitability by optimizing device performance and advancing yield knowledge. The Company serves customers through its network of facilities in Asia, Europe, and North America. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.formfactor.com.
The FormFactor logo and Contact Intelligence™ are trademarks of FormFactor, Inc.