1997 Southwest Test Workshop Program

(View the original proceedings - a "large" Adobe Acrobat file)

About The Workshop

Southwest Test Workshop started in 1990 as a small, regional meeting of test professionals who gathered to discuss general IC test topics. After three years of following that format the organizers, recognizing a need for a meeting focused on wafer testing, asked TTTC to approve a change of mission the rest is history. Workshop attendance grew to 148 that year, 238 the next year, and 288 last year.

This year, the workshop, which was held at the Princess Resort Hotel in Mission Bay, near San Diego, California, June 1-4, educated and entertained 400 enthusiastic participants.

In spite of its dramatic growth, SWTW still tries to maintain its workshop identity rather than become a formal symposium or conference. For example, the organizers believe that half the value of a technical meeting is in the informal interactions, so they devote a sizable portion of the workshop to long breaks and numerous social activities, such as a Mexican Fiesta, a Hawaiian Luau and three hosted cocktail receptions. Also, recognizing that unrehearsed panel discussions often reveal issues that would be too politically incorrect to present in a formal setting, SWTW '97 had four panel or open discussion sessions, all actively involving the audience. The initial Sunday evening panel discussion was video-taped. The tape was distributed to all attendees at the conclusion of the workshop.

SWTW's regular technical program began on Monday morning with a session on RF probing. One presentation concerned probe activities as evaluated by an ATE vendor. A mini-tutorial described the relationship between RF terminology and the high-frequency testing vernacular. After the morning break, the session dealt with the automatic probe-mark inspection features now included by the three major prober manufactures. Each manufacturer described their APM features and performance parameters, and then, to keep them honest, members of the audience shared their actual experiences in an open discussion.

Monday afternoon featured a variety of elective group activities designed to encourage informal discussions. The hotel's 18-hole miniature golf course entertained "golfers" in a putters-provided, shotgun-start tournament. Other attendees took a 2-hour San Diego sightseeing-trolley tour that included Old Town, downtown and other city sites, the wharf area, Coronado Island and Balboa Park. Another group took a San Diego Harbor Cruise and toured one of the largest recreational harbors on the West Coast, plus the fishing fleet, North Island Naval Air Station, and the US Navy fleet in dry dock. On Monday evening, all attendees enjoyed a Hawaiian Luau buffet dinner around the hotel pool.

The first session Tuesday morning discussed the issues of docking a many-hundred-pound test head with an even heavier prober, while requiring accuracies of a fraction-of-a- mil and gram. The first presentation covered the problem of conventional and newly developed interface solutions. The next two presentations provided detailed models and error-budget analysis as they relate to the interface itself and probe-card requirements. After the morning break, there were four presentations on high-temperature probing. These included an overview of some Sematech activities, a new matched-expansion probe card, an analytical model for probe-card performance at elevated temperature, and measured thermal-probe chuck performance.

Multi-die probing was the topic of the first session after lunch. Advances in cantilevered probe cards and newer probe technologies have found increasing applications in multiple die testing, so three microelectronic manufacturers presented their experiences with different probe technologies. Then, for the first time, the SWTW had two parallel breakout sessions in the afternoon. Each session had a panel which began the discussion and then the attendees, who had been enticed with cookies and soft drinks, were encouraged to share their views. The topics were probe operations and new probe technologies.

Tuesday evening, attendees enjoyed a formal dinner banquet which included awards and an after dinner speaker. Our after dinner speaker discussed the issues and potential solutions for a completely automated, lights-out, probe test operation. Then awards were given for the best presentation, best data, lowest miniature-golf score, worst sunburn, and the infamous SWTW award for the poorest-disguised sales pitch.

Wednesday morning featured a general session entitled Probe Potpourri. Three presentations covered: probe-needle materials; the roadmap to 50-micron probe pitch; and advanced technology in cantilever needle-probe cards. After the morning break, there were three excellent presentations on new probe-card technologies. The workshop adjourned Wednesday at noon.

Southwest Test Workshop 1998 is scheduled to begin with a tutorial Sunday afternoon, May 30,1998. Please contact the TTTC Office, EdDor@aol.com, if you would like to be on the mailing list for SWTW.

  • The papers in this publication comprise the proceedings of Southwest Test Workshop 1997. They reflect the authors’ opinions and are reproduced as presented and without change. Their inclusion in this publication does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Southwest Test Workshop, the sponsors, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
  • There is NO copyright protection claimed by publication. However, each presentation is the work of the author and respective company: as such, any acknowledgement should be made to the appropriate source; also, any questions regarding permission to use the material should be directed to them.

The Committee

  • Bill Mann
  • Mike Bonham
  • Dave Unzicker
  • Rey Rincon
  • Rockwell
  • Cerprobe
  • Intel
  • Sematech/TI

What is a Test Workshop?

  • It’s not a theoretical or academic conference
  • Workshops are informal and casual
  • Provides practical solutions to real problems
  • Mixture of vendor and user presentation
  • Open discussions and networking
  • Opportunity for informal discussions

Informal Technical Interaction

  • Long breaks... talk with a stranger
  • Social Activities
    • San Diego Harbor Cruise
    • San Diego City Tour
    • Miniature Golf
  • Poolside Hawaiian luau
  • Three hosted cocktail receptions

Technical Program

  • RF Probing
  • Automatic Probe Mark Inspection on Probers
  • Continuation of Technical Discussions
  • Prober to Test Head Interface
  • Temperature Probing Technical Program
  • Multi-die, Parallel Probing
  • Breakout Discussions
    • Advanced Probe Technology or Probe Operations
  • Awards Banquet and After Dinner Speaker
  • Probe Potpourri
  • New Probe Technologies



When Can We Really Turn the Lights Out at Probe?

Ron Leckie
Strategic Test Partners

Automatic Probe Mark Inspection on Probers

Electroglas EG4090

Dai Dee Casavant


Marius Lupan
Tokyo Electron America


Earl Eddy
TSK America

Multi-Die Probing

An Integrated System for Controlling the Unit Probe Process in a Parallel Test Environment

Bill Davis

Experiences with Multi-Die Probe Cards in Production

Frank Pietzchmann

Multi-Die Probing

John Peters

New Probe Card Technologies

JEM Vertical Contact Probe Card

Phill Mai
JEM America

Mini-Cobra Update

Don Brown
Wentworth Labs

Vertical Probe Update

Larry Levy
Form Factor Inc.

Probe Potpourri

Advanced Cantilever Technology

Pete Rogan
Cerprobe Corporation

Myths and Legends of Probe Needles

Michelle Gesse
Advanced Probing Systems

Roadmap to 50 Micron Probe Pitch

Scott Carlin
Wentworth Labs

Prober -Test Head Interface

Design Concepts for a Total Integrated Solution

Jim Anderson
Cerprobe Corporation

Probe to Pad XY Scrub Positioning Process

Al Miller
Digital Micro Electronics, HL01-109

The Test Head Hoist – A New Concept in Test Head Positioning

Marvin Weilerstein and Christopher West

RF Wafer Probing

High Frequency Basics

Tom Strouth
GigaTest Labs Inc.

Microwave Probing

Jim Bossaller
Hewlett Packard, MS 3USQ

Temperature Probing

Analytical Model of Probe Card Performance at Elevated Temperature

January Kister
Probe Technology Corporation

Elevated Temperature Probing Development at Sematech

Phil Seitzer
Lucent Technologies, M/S 24A-206AK

Matched Expansion Probe Cards

Eckhard Ehlerman
Wentworth, Germany

Wafer Temperature Control for Testing High Power Chips: Measured Thermal Chuck Performance

Dave Gardell
IBM Corporation, 963G

Prizes, Prizes and More Prizes

  • Best Technical Presentation
  • Best Data Presented
  • All Panel Members
  • Best Questions Asked
  • a Few Surprise Awards
  • Tuesday Awards Banquet
  • All Presenters on Wednesday

Test Technology Periodicals

  • International Test Conference Proceedings
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  • Test Technology Technical COMMITTEE
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  • Journal of Electronic Testing
    Kiuwer Academic Publishers
    101 Philip Drive
    Norwell, MA 02061
  • Design and Test of Computers
    IEEE Computer Society
    10662 Los Vagneros Circle
    Los Alamitos, CA 90720-1314
  • Final Test Report
    Ikonix Corporation
    P.O. Box 1938
    Lafayette, CA 94549
  • Evaluation Engineering
    Nelson Publishing
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    Nokomis, FL 34275-3482

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