Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Testing miniature silicon chips

16.03.2005


Many activities in our daily lives use products and devices based on silicon chips - from computers and televisions to medical equipment and defense systems. As these products and applications become increasingly complex and miniature, so must the chips.



Chips are manufactured on a silicon wafer. Each chip is surrounded by electrical contacts (‘plots’) through which data enters and exits. The plots are connected to each other through extremely fine wires. In 1994 the distance between the chip and plot was 200µm, and between plots 110µm; 10 years later these figures were reduced to 60µm and 45µm respectively.

During their manufacture, chips are tested at a number of stages. The final test evaluates the performance of the chip according to its end use. However this test proved problematic with the new generation of high density, fine pitch wafers - the existing needle-based technology was no longer viable as it did not allow the mass production of test cards.


Aware of the potential global market demand for such a technology and its importance for the European microelectronics industry André Belmont, former manager at SGS Thomson (now ST Microelectronics), founded French SME Mesatronic to address market demands.

Through EUREKA project E! 2277 NEWTECT, Mesatronic teamed up with Italian, French and Swiss partners to develop and patent D.O.D. Technology® (Die On Die) - a probe card technology based on a semiconductor process for testing the new generation of silicon wafers.

Now recognised as one of the best in the world, D.O.D. Technology® is the only probe card technology based on a semiconductor process. In addition to its ability to test the new generation of silicon wafers, a single card can test an average of one million wafers.

According to Belmont: “Our idea had great market potential, but we lacked funding and know-how. EUREKA, with its unique industry-oriented approach, gave us this opportunity.”

Partly thanks to EUREKA, Mesatronic has grown from a small European enterprise with two members of staff into a world leader in its field with 64 employees and an annual turnover of €9 million. Around €3 million of current turnover and 30 jobs are directly attributable to the NEWTECT project. With several world leaders as clients (including Motorola, Infineon, Philips and Texas Instruments), it is one of the only companies offering the whole range of tests for the new generation of wafers. Furthermore, since starting the project, Mesatronic has on two occasions secured private funding.

Mesatronic is also this year’s winner of the EUREKA Lynx Award for small to medium-sized high-tech enterprises whose participation in a EUREKA project has resulted in significant commercial and financial growth.

Paul McCallum | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/success-stories

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>