In sensitive application areas, such as medical, communications, automotive and aerospace technology, reliability of the underlying electronic systems is of utmost importance. Therefore, the semiconductor industry and manufacturer of electronic components and systems carry out thorough electrical tests on their products, in order to guarantee their failsafe operation. One important aspect is testing the ESD (electrostatic discharge) tolerance of the chips, since miniaturization of semiconductor components makes them more prone to damage due to electric impulses caused by electrostatic discharge.
Fraunhofer EMFT and High Power Pulse Instruments GmbH (HPPI), a supplier of ESD measurement equipment, have joined forces and together developed a novel test system for electrical testing, offering several advantages for the semiconductor industry. Both partners have a long-term know-how in the field of ESD testing and protection and have contributed to the development project with their respective areas of expertise.
The test system operates using two separate probes for contacting the chips on a wafer (wafer-level test) or the electronic components (component-level test). They can be controlled independently of each other, which is an important advantage, enabling more flexibility for various electronic test scenarios. In addition, the system uses linear drives which allow for an extreme precise positioning of the test probes.It also shows less electrical parasitic elements, compared with the relay-based test systems used mostly today. Furthermore, the systems can support also multi die testing which significantly reduces the handling efforts and the test time.
The system can be combined with various measurement systems and thus be used for most of today’s ESD and device characterization needs, including standard TLP, very fast TLP and Human Metal Model (HMM), Human Body Model (HBM) and Charged-Coupled TLP (CC-TLP).