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A modular application specific active test environment for high-temperature wafertest up to 300 C
Keywords: high-temperature wafer test, modular test environment, active probecard
In this article a development for the use of active probecard technology in high-temperature wafertest is presented. IMMS developed a modular application specific active test environment in which standard electronics for amplification and conditioning of test signals can be used. Increasingly, semiconductor devices are used in harsh environments with temperatures up to 300 C. As well as devices for standard conditions these high-temperature devices have to be tested before being integrated in application systems. State of the art in high-temperature wafertest is the use of passive probecard technology. Under these circumstances there is no signal amplification or conditioning next to the device under test (DUT). For high-temperature wafertest two conditions must be given. Initially a wafertest system is required, which allows to temper the wafer up to 300 C. Some test equipment suppliers provide wafer chucks for temperature test from -60 C to 300 C. Furthermore, a contact needle system is necessary, which can be used over the entire temperature range without losing its precision to meet the contact pad. This technology is also provided by some suppliers. Combining these two technologies allows executing high-temperature wafertest with passive probecard technology. This test setup can be applied for characterization of primitive semiconductor devices or integrated circuits (IC) with DC-outputs. However, modern ICs are becoming more and more complex. They use digital interfaces, multiplexed outputs or need precise input signals, which require a test setup with an active probe card technology. This allows amplifying and conditioning input and output signals. IMMS developed a high-temperature test environment with active probecard technology by using standard ICs for signal amplification and conditioning mounted on a FR4 standard printed circuit board (PCB) next to the DUT. These devices can usually operate up to 85 C only. Hence, a large thermal insulation between the contact needle system and the active probecard is necessary. This will be achieved by placing an air flushed metal chamber. The surface of the chamber inner bottom was increased by cooling fins for a better heat emission to the flush air. This arrangement generates a temperature difference of up to 240 K at a distance of less than 3 cm. So only the contact needle system has to be designed for a high-temperature environment and is placed on the inner bottom of the air flushed chamber. It consists of a cantilever probe needle arrangement, a ceramic PCB and a signal guiding system to the standard FR4-PCB. Due to a simple adaption for different pad layouts of ICs a modular application specific concept has been realized. A commercial available cantilever probe needle arrangement with a pin count of up to 48 needles can be mounted on the ceramic PCB. Spring loaded contacts guide to electrical signals from the ceramic PCB to the standard FR4-PCB. From this point an active signal conditioning and amplification can be done. In our test setup the maximal occurring temperature of standard FR4-PCB at 300 C wafer temperature is 65 C. Continuing the modular application specific concept the standard FR4-PCB can be easily exchanged. So ICs with the same pad layout but different functionality can be tested only by adaption of the standard FR4-PCB. The presented test environment for high-temperature wafertest offers several advantages for the implementation of active probecard technology in high-temperature wafertest up to 300C. The modular concept allows both the exchange of a cantilever probe needle arrangement for different pin counts and pad layouts as well as the use of standard FR4-PCBs for different applications. Due to the maximum temperature of 65 C at the FR4-PCB standard ICs for amplification and conditioning of test signals can be used. The adaption of the test environment to application specific ICs (ASIC) can be done in an inexpensive and simple way.
Michael Meister, Head of industrial electronics and measurement technology
Ilmenau, Thuringia

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