1999 Southwest Test Workshop
(View the proceedings - a "large" Adobe Acrobat file)

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 11, 2000.