Test & Measurement

Probe heads offer wafer level chip test alternative

8th December 2017
Mick Elliott

The Volta Series probe heads from Smiths Interconnect are optimised for wafer-level chip-scale package testing. As phones and smart devices get more powerful, so do the integrated chips that support them. Volta is used for testing the chips (while in their wafer form) that are behind everything from Bluetooth and power management to digital display controllers.

The probe heads have been launched following a close collaboration with customers, and they have been designed to outperform the competition in durability and reliability. Innovative electrical contact technologies and proprietary-engineered materials are used to achieve improved performance and production efficiency.

The spring probe contacts are used in place of cantilever and traditional vertical probe card technologies. The design ensures an extremely short signal path enabling low and stable contact resistance, high current carrying capacity and longer life cycle.

Proprietary-engineered plastic and machined ceramic materials used in the product make for improved planarity that allows increased test parallelism and the housing allows for easy maintenance, quick installation and field repair potential that all add up to reduced cost of ownership.

The state-of-the-art Volta Manual Actuator (Lid) design allows sorted die tests at all sites simultaneously as well as eliminates the possibility of die cracking even after repetitive tests, enabling probe card bring-ups prior to the wafer availability.

“The semiconductor packaging industry is evolving quickly to accommodate complex functional integration of ICs for higher performance in smaller form factors,” said Jeff Dick, Marketing Vice President at Smiths Interconnect. “The technical challenges and increases in packaging costs are fueling the growth of Wafer Level Packages and Known Good Dies. Smiths Interconnect’s Volta Series addresses these trends with a cost-effective, high-performance option specifically designed to meet customers’ needs.”

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