Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RTEC), a leading provider of process characterization equipment and software for wafer fabs and advanced packaging facilities, announced today the availability of direct-dock probe card capability for its PrecisionWoRx® VX4 probe card test and analysis tool. The VX4 inspects and repairs the delicate probe tips that contact the electrical device during testing.
Direct docking probe cards increase testing speeds and signal bandwidth by reducing the number of electrical connections and shortening the trace lengths from the tester and the device, however, they are larger and heavier than conventional probe cards. The new capability allows users to accommodate direct-dock cards while retaining all the features and functionality that have made the VX platform the unchallenged market leader. Shipments to a device manufacturer in Thailand for a VX4 System, and a California probe card manufacturer, MicroProbe, for a VX4 with direct dock, are scheduled for Q2 2010.
Mike Slessor, MicroProbe’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “As we continue our tradition of collaborating with customers to solve the challenges of wafer test, new and novel approaches like direct-dock probe cards can offer significant technical and economic advantages. However, to ensure these novel approaches meet our stringent quality requirements and are supportable in production environments, we rely on partners like Rudolph to deliver best-of-breed inspection, analysis and rework capabilities. MicroProbe’s direct-dock probe cards, in combination with the metrology capability of Rudolph’s VX4, are an excellent example of a shared commitment to help our customers improve wafer test performance and lower the cost of test.”
“As probe cards become more complex, the ability to inspect and rework them has become critical,” added Ardy Johnson, Rudolph’s Vice President of Marketing. “This value is not limited to direct savings on probe card costs. The information derived from probe card test and analysis lets engineers optimize the entire test process, realizing benefits from faster test times, fewer test-induced defects and much more.”
With hundreds of systems installed worldwide, the VX platform has become the industry standard for testing, analyzing and reworking probe cards. Its advanced capabilities allow semiconductor manufacturers to evaluate and correct the planarity, alignment, contact resistance, leakage current, probe force, tip wear, scrub characteristics and numerous other critical probe card parameters that impact probing process performance. Information provided by the new PrecisionWoRx VX4 tool can help test floor managers and test engineers reduce yield losses in the probing process and extend the lifetime of probe cards.