Leading Mobile Chipmaker Rockchip Selects FormFactor’s Apollo™ MF100 MEMS Probe Card for Wafer Testing of 28nm Application Processors
December 8, 2014
FormFactor, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORM) today announced that Rockchip, based in Fuzhou, China, has chosen FormFactor’s Apollo™ MF100 MEMS probe card for wafer testing of its 28nm generation of application processors. Rockchip is China’s leading fabless semiconductor company for mobile internet terminal devices, digital multimedia solutions and wireless communications, as well as application processors used in tablets, mobile phones, and IOT ecosystem products. The MEMS-based Apollo MF100 probe card addresses the precise, low-force, high-performance requirements needed for production testing of today’s advanced integrated circuits, which feature increasing levels of on-chip integration and I/O density. This selection extends FormFactor’s presence and technology leadership in the fast-growing Chinese fabless semiconductor market.
“FormFactor has an established reputation of working very closely with customers during a new product’s design phase. Such early collaboration ensures wafer test feasibility, and assures highest probe card performance when a product goes into volume production,” said Mr. Huang Xu, Rockchip’s Vice President. “The close collaboration coupled with FormFactor’s industry-proven advanced copper pillar probing technology and expertise made adoption of the MF100 MEMs probe card for our new 28nm product a natural choice.”
Increasing on-chip integration, together with shrinking chip sizes, are continuing to drive reductions in packaging pitches to enable complete access to the entiredevice functionality. Copper pillars, which are typically fabricated using photolithography and plating techniques, enable devices to be packaged at pitches at and below 100μm, far denser than the capability of mainstream solder-bump packaging processes. Copper pillars also offer significant performance advantages over solder bumps, including higher electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as improved electromigration reliability. As a result of these benefits, copper pillar packaging is rapidly becoming the interconnect technology of choice for advanced integrated circuits, especially for highly-integrated, high-performance mobile applications like smartphones and tablets.
The Apollo™ MF100 expands FormFactor’s position in this high-growth sector of the advanced probe card market. Popularly used for decades in solder-bump probing, the Apollo product line now offers a suite of vertical MEMS probe options, creating a high-precision/low-force technology solution for fine-pitch copper pillar applications at pitches of 100um and below. Developed for high-probecount multi-DUT (devices under test) testing in high-volume manufacturing environments, the product is optimized for robust performance that helps lower overall test costs, while providing high yields.
“A key challenge in testing copper pillar devices is to ensure robust cost-effective production probing with high yields, without impacting the final packaged-part reliability,” said Mike Slessor, FormFactor’s President. “These copper pillar structures are two- to- three times smaller than typical solder bumps, and delivering the levels of reliability and yield demanded by our customers requires low-force probing and superior probe tip accuracy to be maintained through the probe card’s entire lifetime. Leveraging our decades of experience and investment in both MEMS technology and vertical SoC probing, the MEMS-based Apollo™ MF100 product has demonstrated these qualities in production environments at customer sites in the U.S., Europe, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea. With the Rockchip partnership, we are now broadening our presence in China’s fast-growing mobile market.”
For more information about the Apollo™ MF100 or other FormFactor products, please visit us at www.formfactor.com.
Rockchip is China’s leading fabless semiconductor company and mobile-internet SOC solution provider founded in 2001. Rockchip focuses on mobile internet platforms with products targeted for mobile internet terminal devices (Mobile Phone/Tablet /Phablet/Smart TV/ OTT-BOX/Dongle/e-Book) and portable multimedia entertainment terminals (MP3/PMP/WIFI/ Bluetooth audio). Rockchip has combined its video/audio and Android experience to produce semiconductor (IC) solutions for world-renowned OEM/ODM and brand customers. Rockchip is headquartered in Fuzhou, where most design and development takes place, and has three additional branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, focusing mostly on programs and marketing. For more information, visit www.rock-chips.com.