4 June 2012

Cascade launches first fully automatic high-power device measurement probe system

Cascade Microtech Inc of Beaverton, OR, USA, which provides equipment for the precision contact, electrical measurement and test of ICs, optical devices (including LEDs) and other small structures, has launched the APS200TESLA. The turn-key system combines the proven capabilities of its Tesla on-wafer power device characterization measurement technology with Cascade’s BlueRay production automation technology to deliver what is claimed to be the industry’s first complete on-wafer production solution to address the test challenges of discrete power devices.

As power semiconductors grow with the demand for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products, power device manufacturing will shift from silicon substrates to silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), and gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si), says the firm. These new substrate technologies offer improved efficiency and enable higher levels of power, and faster switching, in many applications such as automotive and consumer electronics, electrical power distribution and large data centers, which currently use silicon-based insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and MOSFETS.

Fast-growing applications in renewable energy and industrial power will challenge power device manufacturers to develop more efficient devices at a lower cost, driving the need for test solutions specifically designed for high-voltage/high-current probing, adds the firm. Cascade Microtech says that it is meeting this challenge with what it claims to be the first fully automatic on-wafer probe system for high-power device measurement.

Rated up to 10kV/400A, the APS200TESLA delivers what is reckoned to be unmatched electrical performance for high-voltage and high-current device characterization at production levels. The system comes with a high-voltage/high-current probe card, a high-voltage/high-power chuck port, and the patent-pending MicroVac high-power chuck, which can handle wafer thicknesses down to 50 microns, such as ultra-thin Taiko wafers. An optimized electrical connection easily integrates the APS200TESLA with a variety of test instruments, and the interlock-enabled safety shield provides a safe environment for the operator. The arc-suppression feature allows the user to optimize device layout to achieve better yields. Auto-discharging and the unique probe-pin touch sensing capability prevent device damage due to high-voltage discharge during die-to-die moves. The APS200TESLA also offers advanced prober control software for automatic wafer and die stepping.

“The new APS200TESLA leverages our experience in achieving accurate on-wafer measurement,” says president & CEO Michael Burger. “It is an advanced, turn-key power device measurement system that will help our customers improve cost-of-ownership, increasing test throughput and improving yields,” he claims. "It allows our customers to save time by avoiding unnecessary dicing and packaging prior to final test. By testing on-wafer in a production environment, the APS200TESLA enables our customers to reduce test costs and get their products to market faster.”

Tags: Cascade Microtech

Visit: www.cascademicrotech.com

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