FormFactor Enables Cost-Effective Fully Tested Die with Industry’s First Production-Ready High Frequency Wafer Test Solution
January 26, 2004
200 MHz Test Frequency Enables Fully Tested DRAM Die On-Wafer, Increasing Yields for Multi-Chip Memory Packages in Consumer Electronics
LIVERMORE, Calif. – Jan. 26, 2004 – FormFactor, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORM), a leading provider of advanced wafer probe cards, today announced the industry’s first high parallelism, high frequency probe card for fully tested memory die. FormFactor’s new S200TM high speed test technology combines breakthrough high-speed signal performance with high parallelism to create a cost effective solution for performing full-speed functional test of mobile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) die in wafer form. FormFactor also announced that DRAM supplier Elpida Memory, Inc., has realized at-speed wafer test on Mobile RAM using FormFactor’s S200 high-speed test technology on a FormFactor 108 device under test (DUT) wafer probe card. Elpida plans to capitalize on the S200 technology to support its ramp of Mobile RAM output to meet demand for 2G, 2.5G and 3G cellular phone applications.
Emerging 2G, 2.5G and 3G cellular phone applications require that a mix of memory semiconductors, including low power DRAM, be combined in a single multi-chip package (MCP) to support rich multi-media web content capabilities. To ensure high yields of MCPs, chip manufacturers must fully test each memory die at data sheet specification speeds before it is assembled into the MCP. Until FormFactor’s introduction of its S200 technology, there was no commercially available wafer test solution for cost effectively performing full-frequency production test for this price-sensitive consumer electronics market.
FormFactor’s S200 technology in combination with FormFactor’s high parallelism probe cards enables manufacturers to test DRAM devices in wafer form at full-data-sheet frequency on up to 128 devices in parallel. This combination leverages FormFactor’s new high frequency features, established expertise in highly reliable probing, and Tester Resource Extension (TRE) technology solutions to deliver a solution capable of 200 MHz probing at 400 Mb/s bandwidth. FormFactor’s TRE technology solutions have been proven to deliver a low overall cost of test and reduced capital investment in standard wafer test applications, and now with the introduction of FormFactor’s S200 technology extend the same benefits to high speed wafer test. In trial results at Elpida, the S200 technology powered wafer probe card increased test frequencies and reduced production wafer sort test times while delivering high quality, fully tested die for MCPs in mobile applications.
“Known Good Die testing is essential for DRAM devices destined for multi-chip packages and cellular phone applications,” said Masahide Ozawa, general manager of test and application at Elpida Memory. “Working with FormFactor to implement its S200 test technology on our company’s proprietary wafer designs enabled our company to leverage FormFactor’s wafer probe card high parallelism and high-speed capabilities to establish a new production test flow for Mobile RAM KGD.”
“The S200 test technology is the first in a series of FormFactor wafer test solutions to address the need for fully tested die to support the rapidly growing mobile appliance market,” said Mark Brandemuehl, vice president of marketing at FormFactor. “The lack of cost-effective methods for achieving fully tested die threatens to pose potential limits to the rapid growth of multi-chip packages. Starting with its S200 technology, FormFactor is applying our company’s deep technology resources and wafer test expertise to deliver timely solutions to meet this challenge.”
FormFactor’s MicroSpring® contact based wafer probe cards provide the foundation for superior signal integrity required for high frequency wafer test, solving contact reliability, cross talk and signal distortion issues that have hindered at-speed wafer test in the past. The MicroSpring contact structure itself is capable of carrying signals in excess of 5Ghz with no materially significant degradation in signal quality, providing the necessary headroom to expand FormFactor wafer probe card performance to test future generations of high-bandwidth memory devices.
FormFactor wafer probe cards implementing its S200 test technology are available for order now, with delivery available in the second quarter of 2004. Please visit www.formfactor.com for more information.