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Cascade Microtech Introduces World's First 45 nm-capable DC/RF Parametric Probe Card Solutions, Lowers Cost of Ownership

BEAVERTON, Ore., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cascade Microtech today introduced two new Pyramid(R) parametric probe cards that allow single-pass high performance DC and RF measurements and reduce the cost of parametric production test for semiconductors with advanced processes nodes at 65 nm, 45 nm and beyond. These leading-edge probe cards leverage Cascade Microtech's new Pyramid Plus(TM) parametric probe card manufacturing technology. Pyramid Plus provides greater mechanical performance, lower leakage, low contact resistance and lowest inductance to rapidly deliver the most accurate and reliable measurements of ever-smaller process monitoring test structures.

The exclusive Pyramid Plus membrane manufacturing process enables multiple specification improvements such as state-of-the-art leakage performance, to 1 fA with a 5-second settling time, improved parametric performance, and reliable contact on smaller test pads. Cascade Microtech's membrane technology is unique in its ability to integrate 20 GHz transmission lines and guarded traces to the probe tip, respectively reducing crosstalk and improving settling time.

"As silicon technologies shrink, process monitoring test structures located in the scribe lines are creating electrical and mechanical challenges," said Geoff Wild, chief executive officer, Cascade Microtech. "It is harder than ever to accurately and reliably probe smaller pads on silicon wafers during yield monitoring, process control monitoring and wafer acceptance testing with existing needle technology. Only Cascade Microtech has the exacting technology needed to perform DC and RF measurements on these new test elements."

As chip geometries decrease and process complexities increase, the difficulties of measuring key parametric indicators include smaller DC currents, lower leakages, and tighter interconnection geometries. In addition, RF techniques are becoming critical production tests to measure RF passive components, high-speed CMOS technologies, and circuit reactance on small junctions. Cascade Microtech's advanced Pyramid probe card technology is unique in its ability to make these low-level DC measurements while at the same time facilitating RF measurements in a single solution. No other probe card technology provides the flexibility to make high-performance DC and RF measurements from the same card.

Pyramid Plus Technology Lowers Cost of Ownership

As wafer manufacturers continue to strive to maximize the die yield per wafer by reducing the width of scribe lines located between functional die, shrinking probe pads on parametric test structures are becoming increasingly difficult to contact. Pyramid Plus technology enables probing of 30 microns squared probe pads. Cascade Microtech's unique MicroScrub technology nets consistently smaller scrub marks and uniform marking, yielding less particle generation that can contaminate the wafer, essential for in-line parametric testing. MicroScrub allows the same probe card to be used for both Cu and Al pads, reducing the number of probe cards, probers and setups, lowering the cost of ownership. The permanent probe tip alignment and consistent low

contact resistance of Pyramid probes extend the probe card lifetime, setting a new standard in low maintenance overhead.

Configuration and Availability

The parametric Pyramid Probe cards are available in either DC only (PDC50) or DC plus RF (PRF50) configurations, with options for pad size and leakage specifications. The probe cards are available for order immediately; price and delivery times vary depending upon configuration. The new Pyramid parametric probe cards are compatible with Keithley S600 Series and Agilent 4070/4080 Series parametric testers for performing precision DC and RF parametric tests

About Cascade Microtech

Cascade Microtech, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCD) is a worldwide leader in the precise electrical measurement and test of integrated circuits (ICs) and other small structures. For technology businesses and scientific institutions that need to evaluate small structures, Cascade Microtech delivers access to, and extraction of, electrical data from wafers, integrated circuits (ICs), IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMS, biological structures, electro-optic devices and more.

Cascade Microtech's leading-edge semiconductor production test consumables include unique probe cards and test sockets that reduce manufacturing costs of high-speed and high-density semiconductor chips. Information about Cascade Microtech can be found on the Web at

SOURCE Cascade Microtech, Inc.
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