FormFactor Unveils Next-Generation 300-mm Full-wafer Test Solution for NAND Flash
October 28, 2009
TouchMatrixTMprobe solution delivers advanced MEMS performance for today’s cost sensitive and short lead time test flows.
LIVERMORE, Calif. – October 28th, 2009 – FormFactor, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORM) today unveiled the TouchMatrixTM probe solution − its latest-generation 300-mm full-wafer contact probe card for NAND Flash devices. Built on a new, proprietary architecture that leverages FormFactor’s MicroSpring® MEMS contact technology, the TouchMatrix solution offers chip manufacturers superior product performance with a substantially reduced production lead time. The TouchMatrix probe card is specifically designed for today’s cost sensitive test flows and enables testing of Flash devices down to sub 32-nm process nodes, including those integrating three-bit and four-bit memory cell architectures.
“While under enormous manufacturing cost pressures, Flash memory manufacturers must test each device to ensure its functional performance and quality,” stated Adrian Wilson, general manager of the Flash Business Unit at FormFactor. “Our Flash customers need innovative solutions that can lower their cost of test and this was the focus and goal of our TouchMatrix solution. Cost and performance are equally important to them. Our TouchMatrix solution provides superior electrical and probe contact performance, and its new architecture also has the benefit of manufacturing efficiency, which allows us to pass savings along to our customers.”
Advanced MEMS Performance Supports Flash Technology Roadmaps
As Flash memory devices migrate to the 32-nm node and employ smaller, multi-level cell architectures, increasing noise and crosstalk can affect test signals, making the role of the interconnect between the wafer and tester ever-more critical. TouchMatrix cards utilize FormFactor’s proprietary MicroSpring technology which provides low noise and stable contact resistance—enabling reliable testing of smaller Flash device architectures and ensuring high test yield. The MicroSpring contacts are manufactured using semiconductor lithography processes, making them highly scalable to Flash manufacturers’ roadmaps as they migrate to smaller device features. FormFactor’s self-cleaning MEMS probe tips also require less maintenance – further extending test uptime and improving test cell efficiency.
New Architecture Lowers Cost of Test and Improves Test Efficiency
The TouchMatrix solution features an innovative architecture that significantly improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces the delivery lead time for the TouchMatrix probe card, allowing customers greater flexibility in determining the type and volume of product to ramp at a given time. The TouchMatrix architecture does not require the full wafer map to initiate production, which means manufacturing can begin as early as first silicon. Probe card repair is also made easier since the card can be easily disassembled and reassembled without planarity or x/y position adjustments.
The TouchMatrix probe card is designed for improved thermal performance that enables it to quickly reach and maintain test temperatures—improving throughput and extending uptime. The card can also be enhanced with FormFactor’s patented RapidSoakTM technology to achieve near-zero soak time and superior scrub performance.
FormFactor’s TouchMatrix probe cards are now in qualification testing at several Flash device manufacturers and are available for shipping.
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 our products and solutions, demand for our products 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 implement its new architecture in the TouchMatrix solution and offer superior product performance, manufacturing efficiency and reduced production lead time, to meet Flash manufacturers’ requirements around cost sensitive test flows, to enable testing of Flash devices down to sub 32-nm process nodes, including those integrating three-bit and four-bit memory cell architectures, to lower customers’ cost of test, to enable customers implementing the TouchMatrix solution to achieve superior electrical and probe contact performance, to deliver low noise and stable contact resistance for testing smaller Flash device architectures, to ensure higher test yield and extended test uptime, to improve thermal performance and to achieve near-zero soak time and superior scrub performance. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statement is contained in the company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 27, 2008 and Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended June 27, 2009 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and subsequent SEC 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 from those anticipated in forward-looking statements.