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 Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano
20.10.2017 | Brown University

nachricht New software speeds origami structure designs
12.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>