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 New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>