FormFactor Unveils New Addition to Wire Bond Logic Probe Card Family to Lower IC Test Costs for Mobile and Consumer Applications
December 4, 2007
LIVERMORE, Calif. – December 4, 2007 – FormFactor, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORM) today announced the latest addition to its TrueScaleTM probe card family for wire bond system-on-chip (SoC) devices. Offering scalability down to 40 micron pad pitch, the TrueScale PP40 wafer probe card is designed to enable high-efficiency and high parallelism wafer probing on advanced wire bond logic and SoC devices.
As the functionality and complexity of wire bond logic devices continue to rise, the number of I/Os per device is increasing. With semiconductor dimensions continuing to shrink, more of these I/Os are being packed into a smaller area. By supporting pad pitches down to 40 microns, FormFactor’s TrueScale PP40 probe card allows IC manufacturers to shrink the size of their test pads—enabling some customers to retain a single-row pad layout, which provides better wire bond tool uptime and efficiency.
Traditional vertical probe solutions struggle to support wafer-level testing at these smaller dimensions. Conventional cantilever probing solutions require frequent maintenance—often multiple times per day—to ensure proper alignment with the test pads, which limits test cell uptime and efficiency. With the requirement for higher parallelism, the limitations of these conventional solutions are exacerbated, making efficient high parallelism testing challenging and potentially unattainable.
In contrast, the TrueScale PP40 product leverages FormFactor’s proprietary MicroSpring® technology to enable 40 micron pitch probing with multiple thousands of contacts. It provides excellent positional accuracy over the life of the probe card (designed to support greater than a million touchdowns), and enables small pad sizes. In normal usage, the TrueScale design requires minimal maintenance with no spring positioning adjustment and less frequent cleaning than conventional technologies. These capabilities are essential for the cost-effective testing of consumer devices, which can have production rates of millions of units. In addition, the
TrueScale PP40 probe card has proven scrub capabilities, for more robust electrical contact. FormFactor’s MicroSpring contacts are designed to penetrate the tough oxide layer on top of aluminum test pads in order to achieve optimal electrical contact—providing better test results and reducing false test failures, which can improve yields.
Another advantage of the TrueScale technology is its ability to leverage multi-site testing, to take better advantage of the latest high pin count advanced test equipment (ATE, >2000 I/Os). With its scalable MEMs design, TrueScale expands parallelism to the ATE’s limit, allowing the testing of 8 to 16 devices in parallel, compared to 2-4 devices with conventional probing technology. At the same time, the MicroSpring contact design provides low contact force to allow reliable probing on pads designed over active device areas.
“As wire bond logic manufacturers ramp up volume to meet growing demand for mobile and wireless applications, they need wafer-level test solutions that can scale with their requirements,” stated Stefan Zschiegner, vice president and general manager of FormFactor’s SoC Product Business Group. “Advanced MEMs-based probe card solutions like our TrueScale product family enable the higher parallelism and tighter pitch requirements our customers need. The ability of FormFactor’s TrueScale PP40 probe card to enable low, consistent contact resistance with minimal cleaning, even after thousands of touchdowns, can help customers maintain high yields with better throughput to lower their cost of test.”
FormFactor is now taking orders for the TrueScale PP40 wafer probe card.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding business momentum, demand for our products and solutions and future growth. These forward- looking statements are based on current information and expectations that are inherently subject to change and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results might differ materially from those in any forward-looking statement due to various factors, including, but not limited to: the company’s ability to design, manufacture in commercial volume and deliver the TrueScaleTM probe cards for wire bond system-on-chip (SoC) devices which scale down to 40 micron pad pitch; the ability of the TrueScale probe cards to enable high- efficiency wafer probing on advanced wire bond logic and SoC devices, and to allow IC manufacturers to shrink the size of their test pads; the company’s ability to use the TrueScale technology to leverage multi-site testing and to take better advantage of the latest high pin count advanced test equipment (ATE, >2000 I/Os); whether conventional and traditional technologies can scale with the test requirements of existing and future advanced wire bond logic and SoC devices; and the company’s ability to enable customers to maintain high yields with better throughput to lower their cost of test. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially and adversely from those in any forward-looking
statement is contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal period ended December 30, 2006 and subsequent Form 10-Q and 8-K filings. Copies of the company’s SEC filings are available at http://investors.formfactor.com/edgar.cfm. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this press release, to revise any forward-looking statements or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated in forward- looking statements.