1998 Southwest Test Workshop Program

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

About The Workshop

The Southwest Test Workshop was held at the Princess Resort Hotel in San Diego from May 31 to June 3, 1998. This was the fifth year the workshop focused on microelectronic wafer level testing, and 415 wafer test professionals attended. It was a record attendance for the SWTW and surprising in light of the severe travel restrictions in place at numerous semiconductor manufacturers.

The workshop began Sunday afternoon with special activities for early arrivals. There was an excursion to the nearby Torrey Pines Hang Glider port where we enjoyed taking photos of gliders and parasails overlooking the Pacific on a beautiful afternoon. We were all surprised to discover that the glider port was just a little north of San Diego's famous, bathing suit optional, Black's Beach. Out came the telephoto lenses! Meanwhile, 175 attended the SWTW first Probe Technology Tutorial. Three presentations were given on Gauge R&R, probe card manufacturing and metrology, and a description of the SEMI task force Probe Standards recently sent out to ballot.

The official workshop began at 5:00pm with registration, a get acquainted reception, and a Mexican buffet dinner. This year, the customary Sunday evening panel session took on a unique challenge. One mission of the SWTW has always been to inform the equipment and service suppliers about the needs and expectations of the semiconductor manufacturers, but we had never specifically addressed this task. Therefore, the six panel members, all semiconductor manufacturers, describe in detail what they wanted and expected today, and in the future, and their priorities in terms of price, performance and other factors. Their opening statements were followed by an active audience discussion.

The technical sessions began Monday morning with a contact resistance session including a presentation on the theoretical aspects and two presentations on the extensive empirical data taken for a Sematech study. The next session focused on two brand new probe card technologies and unique advances made in probe needles. After lunch, we had a session on probe needle cleaning including insitu methods on probers, unusual tricks and lessons learned, and an excellent survey of five different cleaning methods (which ended up winning the best presentation award).

Following the afternoon break, we had three non-overlapping parallel breakout sessions. The first session was in the specialized area of RF probing where three presentations discussed RF characteristics of materials used in probe test fixturing, new RF software simulation and modeling tools, and characterization of some membrane probe cards. The second parallel session was a panel and audience discussion of activities to reduce the cost of wafer testing. Discussion topics included baselining where the costs were, improved equipment utilization, sample probing, reduced test times, and many others. One important point discussed was that sometimes wafer test cost is actually increased to achieve reductions in the back-end test cost; the goal is to reduce the overall product cost. The third session was also a panel and attendee discussion. It concentrated on the somewhat unique technologies of memory probing including massively parallel probing, offline redundancy repair, BIST, and full wafer burn-in.

After a hard day of probe technology, the attendees enjoyed a cocktail party at the hotel's Barefoot Bar, and then a great dinner in the Sunset Ballroom overlooking Mission Bay. After dinner, everyone was invited to continue informal technical discussions, have a little more dessert, and enjoy some after-dinner "cordials" in another conference area.

Tuesday morning began with a session on overall probing accuracy. Four presentations discussed the effects of docking, prober accuracies, and temperature on the ability to hit within a few microns of the center of the probe pad, every pad, all the time. The next session focused on area array probing, where the probe pads are distributed over the entire area of the die instead of being restricted to the perimeter. The first presentation was an overview from Sematech describing interesting technology drivers, the present and future trends, and some informative cost benchmarks. The next presentation was an excellent summary of the over 20 years experience of IBM, and this was followed by another presentation of the cost issues of vertical probe cards.

Tuesday afternoon was dedicated to social interaction. Since everyone knows that more than 50% of the value of a workshop is the informal technical discussions, the SWTW does not simply encourage them; it makes them happen. Three activities were available. Thirty-seven people played miniature golf at the hotel course and a few more opted for a higher level of play at a nearby Torrey Pines course. Two hundred and fifty attendees and spouses spent the afternoon at Sea World. About 125 boarded a misplaced Mississippi Stern Wheeler from the hotel dock for a two-hour sightseeing cruise around Mission Bay. Official SWTW hats and suntan lotion were passed out to all.

Tuesday evening we had another cocktail party and then our awards banquet. Awards were given for the best data presented, best overall presentation, lowest miniature golf score, and poorest disguised sales pitch (The Royal Order of the Golden Wheelbarrow full of Crap). It is somewhat unusual to have an awards banquet before the workshop is completely over, so the SWTW also gives an award to all the Wednesday presenters. The coveted Worst Sunburn Award could not be given because the SWTW had accidentally received only SPF4 suntan lotion, and there were too many qualified recipients.

Our first session Wednesday morning was on fine pitch probe cards. With higher I/Os and device shrinks, tighter pitch perimeter cards are becoming more important. This session had three presentations on cards with pitches of 67, 45, and 40 micrometers. The final session was on the various issues of wafer testing in order to supply Known Good Die. The first presentation was an overview of KGD including the activities of a Die Products Consortium of major manufacturers. This was followed by a presentation on full wafer burn-in, and then a presentation of the EIA/JEDEC JC-13 KGD standard. The final presentation described the successful approach for testing a complex 1500 I/O device requiring over 70 watts, appropriately entitled, "Scotty, I need more power!"

By most measures the 1998 SWTW was the best. We tried some new things such as the Probe Tutorial, and we increased the activities for informal discussions. We had 3 excellent panel and audience discussions and 29 technical presentations. A copy of the presentations will be posted on the Computer Society web, a CD ROM is being made for the attendees in addition to the printed conference proceedings handed out during the workshop, and we plan to give copies of the CD ROM to attendees of the special probe session at the 1998 ITC. The next SWTW will begin Sunday afternoon, June 6, 1999 at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego

Copyright Notice

  • The papers in this publication comprise the proceedings of the 1998 Southwest Test Workshop. They reflect the authors’ opinions and are reproducted as presented , without change. Their inclusion in this publication does not necessarily constitute an endorsement by the Southwest Test Workshop, the sponsors, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.
  • There is NO copyright protection claimed by this publication. However, each presentation is the work of the authors and their respective companies: as such, any acknowledgement should be made to the appropriate source. Any questions regarding permission to use the their material should be directed to them.

The Committee

  • Bill Mann – Rockwell
  • Mike Bonham – Cerprobe
  • Dave Unzicker – Intel
  • Rey Rincon – Texas Instruments
  • William Smith – Intel
  • Phil Seitzer – Lucent
  • Al Miller – Intel Mass.
  • Larry Gilg – MCC

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 presentations
  • Open discussions and networking
  • Opportunity for informal discussions

Informal Technical Interaction

  • Long breaks... talk with a stranger
  • Three Hosted Cocktail Receptions
  • Ample Social Activities
    • Barefoot Bar
    • After Dinner “Cordials”
    • Harbor Cruise
    • Miniature golf
    • Sea World

Technical Program

  • Probe Tutorial
  • “What the Users Really Want”
  • Contact Resistance
  • New Probe Technologies
  • Probe Needle Cleaning
  • RF Probing
  • Parallel Probing
  • Low Cost Probing
  • Overall Accuracy
  • Area Array Experiences
  • Fine Pitch Issues
  • Known Good Die


Probe Tutorial

Sunday - May 31,1998 - 2:00pm

Introduction to Gage R&R Studies

Hank Scutoski and Chander Sekar
Cerprobe Corporation

Introduction to Probing Technology

Rod Schwartz
Integrated Technology Corporation (ITC)

Contact Resistance

Monday - June 1,1998 - 8:30am

Intro to Physics of Contact Resistance

January Kister
Probe Technology Inc.

Probe Needle Wear and Contact Resistance

Jerry Broz
Advanced Probing Systems (APS)

Multi-Tier Probe Cards and Contact Resistance

John Strom
Applied Precision, Inc. (API)

New Probe Technologies

Monday - June 1,1998 - 10:30am

MicroStrip Beam Probes

Lynn Saunders
MicroConnect, Inc.

Thin Film Spring Arrays

Don L. Smith
Xerox Research Center

Application Specific Probe Needles

Michelle Gesse
Advanced Probing Systems (APS)

Probe Needle Cleaning

Monday - June 1,1998 - 1:00pm

Probe Needle Cleaning

Janusz Liberkowski
Tokyo Electron Massachusetts

Innovative Probe Needle Cleaning Techniques

James Anderson
Applied Precision, Inc. (API)

Wet Cleaning

Rod Schwartz
Integrated Technology Corporation

RF Probing

Monday - June 1,1998 - 3:30pm

Electrical Performance of PCB Materials

Tom Strouth
GigaTest Labs

Probe Card Design Using a Field Solver

Eric Bogatin
Ansoft Corporation

RF Membrane Probe Cards

Ken Smith
Cascade Microteck, Inc.

Reduced Probe Geometry

Mike Chrastecky
Wentworth Labs

RF Probe Test (1.9 GHz)

Peter Luecking

Overall Prober/Probe Card Accuracy

Tuesday - June 2,1998 - 8:00am

Flexible Interface System

Scott Williams
Cerprobe Corporation

New Interface Paradigm: Direct Docking

Rodger Sinsheimer and Doug Lefever
Xandex Corporation

Overall Probe Accuracy at Elevated Temperature

Phil Seitzer and Rick Langford
Lucent Technologies

Overall Prober/Probe Card Accuracy

Dai Dee Casavant


Area Array Probing

Tuesday - June 2,1998 - 10:30am


Bob Nesbitt

Intro to Area Array Probing

Fred Taber

Area Array Probing

Herve Deshayes
SGS Thompson

Fine Pitch Probe

Wednesday - June 3,1998 - 8:00am

Probing at 67 Micron Pitch

Al Miller
Intel (Mass.)

Fine Pitch Probe Card - 40 Micron Pitch

Kouichi Eguchi and Wolf Erben
Micronics Japan Co. (MJC)

45 Micron Probe

Toshi Ishi
Mitsubishi & Cerprobe Corporation

Known Good Die

Wednesday - June 3,1998 - 10:00am

Die Products Consortium

Larry Gilg

Overview of WLBI System Approaches

Larry Gilg

Known Good Die Standards

Lori Hornback
Irvine Sensors Corporation

More Power Scotty

Dale Slaby
SGI/Cray Research

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
    655 15th St., N.W., Suite 300
    Washington, D.C. 20005
  • Test Technology Technical Committee
    1474 Freeman Drive
    Amissville, VA 20106
  • 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

©1998 swtest.org