Four hundred fifty wafer test professionals met
at the Paradise Point Resort Hotel in San Diego, California,
from June 6 through 9, 1999. The record number of attendees makes
this workshop the largest of the many supported by the Test Technology
Technical Council. Each year the technical program has improved
with its balanced mixture of wafer test equipment vendor and
user presentations as well as a lot of panel and open discussions.
This year the Program Committee continued that improvement trend
with a tutorial, two panel discussions, and outstanding after
dinner speaker, and 32 excellent technical presentations.
The program began Sunday afternoon with a Tutorial
on "Probe Card Evaluation Methods," a reception and
buffet dinner, and a panel discussions on "Fine Pitch Probing"
that evening. The first session Monday morning was on Vertical
Probing Technology for area array designs. The next session discussed
another hot topic in wafer testing, Probe Card Cleaning. After
lunch, the conference had three presentations on Full Contact
Wafer Probe and Burn In. Following the break, we had a special
session where six microelectronic manufacturers candidly discussed
the painful "Lessons Learned In New Probe Technology Introductions."
They gave examples of fine pitch, multi-site, high pin count,
and RF Membrane cards, dramatic production ramp up, and parallel
X32 and X64 memory probing. Extensive attendee questions and
comments were an important part of this session and the panel
discussion on Sunday evening.
After a hard day of wafer test technology, the
workshop attendees relaxed at the hotel's Barefoot Bar. To stimulate
the informal interaction, we had a Team Techno-Trivia contest
where each team member had to be from a different company. The
groups turned in their answer sheets, and then they enjoyed a
great dinner. To culminate the evening, we had a special "Build-It-Yourself,
Ice Cream Sunday Contest."
Tuesday morning began with the Probe Potpourri Session in which
the presentations addressed a wide range of probe related issues.
Then the workshop had an extended session dealing with the hottest
topic in wafer testing technology, the correlation problems between
the probe card analyzers and the in-situ performance of the cards.
After lunch, we enjoyed a little leisure and networking
time with some social activities. All the attendees and their
spouses were invited to play miniature golf on the hotel's course,
go on a Mission Bay Cruise, visit the world famous UC San Diego,
Scripps Aquarium, or just relax and enjoy the resort hotel.
Tuesday evening we had another cocktail reception
followed by a gourmet dinner with courtesy SWTW wineglasses for
all, and our awards ceremony. We honored the overall best presentation,
best data presented, and the most inspired presentation. Then
we had some more fun with the best scores from the Techno-Trivia
Contest, best and the biggest Ice Cream Sundays, lowest Miniature
golf score, worse sunburn, and the infamous "Royal Order
Of The Golden Wheelbarrow Full Of Crap" for the poorest
discussed sales pitch by a presenter. To be fair, ALL of our
Wednesday presenters also received awards. Bill Bottems gave
a fascinating after-dinner presentation about some significant
trends in the Microelectronic Industry.
It was back to work on Wednesday morning. We had
a special invited session from SEMI on the status of their numerous
standards activities for the wafer test business. Our final session
Wednesday morning covered three new probe technologies recently
introduced. The conference was adjourned, and everyone is looking
forward our tenth annual conference that begins on Sunday, June