Browse Prior Art Database

"NEEDLELESS" PROBE CARD

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005727D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Oct-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 76K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Stephen Oetinger: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

As the pad count and density of integrated circuits increases, the availability of adequate probe cards becomes a technical and financial nightmare. As early as 1982 (when this approach was first discovered) we were pushing the limits of current PC board and needle technology with a200 pad requirement. What was needed was a cost effective, high performance alternative to existing probe card approaches.

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MOlVROLA Technical Developments Volume a October 1988

"NEEDLESS" PROBE CARD

by Stephen Oetinger and Joel Kline

   As the pad count and density of integrated circuits increases, the availability of adequate probe cards becomes a technical and financial nightmare. As early as 1982 (when this approach was first discovered) we were pushing the limits of current PC board and needle technology with a200 pad requirement. What was needed was a cost effective, high performance alternative to existing probe card approaches.

   Existing probe card approaches were examined, and much of their design had been driven by the process and prober parameters of many years ago i.e., the flatness of a wafer, PC board process accuracy and the X, Y, Z travel accuracy of older probe machines.

The proposed approach was to take advantage of Semiconductor processing technology to achieve the tolerances which were not achievable with PC board technology.

A. The positioning of contact points is done using the same pad mask used to build the target dice (no registration problems).

B. Build shaped contacts, not needles, by using a plate-up and etch-back cycle to achieve acontact (height and shape) sufficient to penetrate the pad oxide layer. This technique gives an order of magnitude bet- ter planarization than "standard" probe needles.

C. The contact surface is built on a somewhat flexible base to allow a minor amount of compliance.

D. The flexible base is in turn bonded to a PC board surface an...