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Production Testing For Silicon Photonics Wafers


Worldwide data centers and networks for communications currently consume about 8% of the Earth’s total energy produced. To meet the increasing demands for cloud storage, computing, and various emerging applications such as artificial intelligence, genomics revolution, and video transcoding, hyperscale data centers are being built around the world at an accelerated pace, with analysts predicti... » read more

Cryostats Enable Astrophysics Research


Imagine designing and building two prototype HPD cryostats for the Submillimeter Array on Maunakea in Hawaii. The SMA is a collaborative project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO, a member of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian) and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The SMA consists of eight radio telescopes operating fro... » read more

Testing VCSEL Devices On-Wafer


Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers, or VCSELs, are seeing unparalleled demand, thanks to new uses for them in smartphone and automotive applications. 3D sensing for facial recognition is the key application in smartphones, with up to three VCSEL dies being integrated into a single phone. Emerging automotive applications such as driver monitoring, infotainment control and LiDAR will provide... » read more

Picking The Right Location For Probe Stations


High performance flicker noise or phase noise TestCells can be degraded by installing them in a bad location. And just like developing a high-performance system, finding a good location can be a time consuming and difficult task for the typical lab technician that is tasked with setting up the new prober. To do it right requires specialized measurement equipment and tools such as accelerometers... » read more

High Throughput Noise Measurements


Flicker noise and random telegraph noise (RTN) testing can take a long time, especially when measuring down to frequencies of 1 Hz or below. Sweep times up to 30 min at a single temperature are common. And standard data collection for device models requires DUT data at multiple temperatures on small pads. To lower Cost of Test (CoT), and significantly increase on-wafer test throughput, a... » read more

Eliminating Ground-Loop Induced Noise


As semiconductor device performance increases, especially for low power and higher speed ICs, testing low frequency 1/f, RTN and phase noise with improved signal-to-noise ratio is required. Finding and eliminating unwanted noise is required in multiple areas. Noise sources can be found inside a prober, outside a prober, and in a measurement TestCell. Historically, TestCell-generated noise was o... » read more

Considerations For 5G Production Test


Like all technology advancements, bringing 5G to market requires an array of supporting tools to ensure the end products meet expectations. It will require significant performance advances in chip technology and manufacturing processes—all the while keeping price/performance at an economically viable level. Earlier this year, FormFactor’s Daniel Bock along with Jeff Damm outlined three c... » read more

Probing From Home


The current stay-at-home, work-from-home situation challenges the semiconductor industry in a way we have never seen before. Social distancing and remote work put operational procedures in place that can be difficult. In a previous post, we shared information on our virtual demos designed to help keep your semiconductor measurements running no matter where you are physically located. In this ... » read more

Probe Expertise For Cryogenic Devices


The promise of quantum computing to solve complex problems far beyond today’s supercomputer capabilities, plus the emergence of high performance image sensors for security, military, and health care use, and other emerging applications are driving the need for test and measurement tools that can operate in extreme low temperatures (below about -150°C down to a few degrees above absolute zero... » read more

Heating Up Cryogenic Wafer Testing


The use of on-wafer superconducting materials, other novel materials, and traditional semiconductors at cryogenic temperatures (below about 123K, or -150°C) has grown quickly in recent years. Inventive new sensors take advantage of unique material properties at very low temperatures to detect a wide variety of physical phenomena such as infrared radiation, magnetic fields, x-rays, and more. T... » read more

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