FormFactor Introduces Next-Generation 300-mm Full-Wafer Test Solution for DRAM

FormFactor, Inc. today introduced its next generation 300-mm full-wafer-contact probe card for DRAM devices — the SmartMatrix(TM) 100 probe solution. Incorporating a new, proprietary probe card architecture that leverages FormFactor’s MicroSpring® MEMS contact technology, the SmartMatrix 100 was specifically designed to support DRAM manufacturers’ fast design ramps, advanced product roadmaps and stringent cost-of-test requirements.

Designed for testing 5Xnm-node and below DDR2 and DDR3 mobile and commodity DRAM devices, SmartMatrix 100 probe cards offer enhanced probing performance that enables DRAM manufacturers to extend the life of their existing test equipment and avoid the need for additional capital spending within their test cells.

"As memory product lifecycles accelerate, DRAM manufacturers face shrinking windows of opportunity to ramp up to profitability on their new designs and are requiring key suppliers to provide unprecedented operational responsiveness and flexibility to support test operations," stated Stefan Zschiegner, senior vice president of FormFactor’s DRAM product business.

"Our new SmartMatrix 100 solution delivers out-of-the box probe performance that offers both technological and operational enhancements to enable DRAM manufacturers to stay on their test roadmaps and lower their cost of test." New Architecture Improves Manufacturing and Operational Efficiency Like FormFactor’s recently introduced TouchMatrix(TM) probe card for advanced NAND Flash testing, the new SmartMatrix 100 probe card features an innovative architecture that significantly improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces probe card delivery lead time. These capabilities are particularly important for DRAM manufacturers, who face rapid fab cycle times as well as steep and dynamic ramp plans. SmartMatrix 100 probe cards can also be easily disassembled for repair and reassembled for faster turnaround time with minimal adjustment.

SmartMatrix 100 probe cards are also designed for improved thermal performance, which allow the cards to quickly reach test temperatures.

This improved thermal performance enables dual-temperature operation and ensures thermal stability during wafer and lot changes, making the new platform extremely robust in demanding performance environments. With this capability, the new probe card offers scrub consistency even on smaller pads and pad pitches, and can compensate for a lack of prober- or test-head stability, for increased probing uptime. The new design virtually eliminates thermal bow effects of traditional full-wafer-contact probe cards — providing improved contact precision and more consistent scrub marks across the full temperature range. FormFactor’s RapidSoak(TM) technology is also available as an option, which enables SmartMatrix 100 probe cards to further reduce soak time.

Scalable MEMS Probes Optimize Yield and Support Future Test Roadmaps Leveraging FormFactor’s MicroSpring MEMS contacts, SmartMatrix 100 probe cards offer superior scrub performance with proven x/y contact reproducibility and long life. The MicroSpring technology also provides superior power delivery, low noise, and stable contact resistance, which ensures accurate test yields. The SmartMatrix probe cards have a MicroSpring roadmap to enable pad pitches as small as 50 microns and pad sizes as small as 40×50 microns — supporting DRAM manufacturers’ migration to 5X-nm and 4X-nm design rules.

Proprietary Advanced TRE(TM) Technology Increases Test Parallelism SmartMatrix 100 is also compatible with FormFactor’s advanced TRE(TM) technology, which enables more efficient use of tester channels on test equipment to increase the total number of devices that can be tested simultaneously by a factor of four or higher. This TRE technology currently allows the testing of as many as 512 devices on each touchdown.

Using the SmartMatrix probe card, DRAM manufacturers and test service providers can significantly increase test cell throughput on new test equipment, extend the life of their existing test equipment, and reduce their overall cost of test.

FormFactor’s SmartMatrix 100 probe cards are now in qualification testing and are available for shipping.


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