FormFactor Improves Automated Probe Card Alignment, Speeding the Wafer Test Process
July 14, 2003
TEL Supports New Technology that Reduces Number of Errors in Prober Alignment, Increasing Test Cell Uptime
LIVERMORE, Calif. – July 14, 2003 —FormFactor (Nasdaq: FORM), a leader in advanced wafer test probe cards, today announced the introduction of MicroLignTM technology, a new set of probe features developed to optimize automated optical alignment during wafer probing. In addition, the company announced that Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL), a leading supplier of high performance automated probe systems, has agreed to support the MicroLign technology with a new automated alignment algorithm. The result of the companies’ collaborative project is a faster, more accurate optical alignment process, reducing instances of optical alignment errors by more than 80 percent during trials. MicroLign features, in combination with TEL’s new software, dramatically increase productive time in the test cell, driving greater manufacturing efficiencies for high volume wafer test operations.
FormFactor’s new MicroLign technology includes a set of standard features on its MicroSpringTM interconnect probe tips, enabling reliable alignment by TEL’s wafer prober optical alignment systems independent of chip and probe card design. The MicroLign features also enable the prober’s optical alignment system to accurately detect the probe tips even when the tips are partially obscured by aluminum debris, which routinely accumulates on probe tips during wafer probing. Working closely with FormFactor, TEL has developed a new standard optical alignment software option that recognizes MicroLign features on FormFactor’s MicroSpring contacts. The companies noted that the technology has been successfully field- tested and is immediately available upon request.
“Working with FormFactor to develop a standard optical alignment process creates a more valuable wafer probe solution for our joint customers, benefiting both of our companies in return,” said Mr. Isao Kasamatsu, prober product manager, Tokyo Electron Limited. “The reliability of our new optical alignment system helps further reduce cost of test for customers who employ this solution.”
“FormFactor’s work with TEL is a great achievement in reducing manual intervention in the wafer test process, and enables our mutual customers to achieve greater throughput in the wafer test cell,” said Mark Brandemuehl, vice president of marketing for FormFactor, Inc. “Our new MicroLign technology is the latest illustration of a fundamental FormFactor strategy, which is to collaborate with partners such as TEL to reduce our customers’ cost of test.”
Providing mission-critical products for semiconductor wafer test, FormFactor is a technology leader in DRAM, flash and microprocessor wafer test. FormFactor’s MicroSpring interconnect technology combines superior accuracy, reliability, speed and signal integrity with the highest parallelism for the fewest touchdowns possible.
About Tokyo Electron Limited
TEL, commemorating its upcoming 40-year anniversary in November 2003, is a leading supplier of innovative semiconductor and FPD production equipment worldwide. Product lines include coater/developers, thermal processing systems, dry etchers, CVD systems, sputtering systems (PVD), wet cleaning systems, and test systems. In Japan, TEL distributes other leading edge semiconductor equipment tools, such as metrology tools or process control systems. In addition, TEL distributes high quality computer systems, semiconductor devices and electronic components of other leading suppliers, as well as computer network related products from around the world. To support this diverse product base, TEL has strategically located research & development, manufacturing, sales, and service locations all over the world. TEL is a publicly heldcompanylistedontheTokyoStockExchange. http://www.tel.co.jp