Wafer testing

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Wafer testing is a step performed during semiconductor device fabrication. During this step, performed before a wafer is sent to die preparation, all individual integrated circuits that are present on the wafer are tested for functional defects by applying special test patterns to them. The wafer testing is performed by a piece of test equipment called a wafer prober. The process of wafer testing can be referred to in several ways: Wafer Sort (WS), Wafer Final Test (WFT), Electronic Die Sort (EDS) and Circuit Probe (CP) are probably the most common.

Wafer prober

A wafer prober is a machine used to test integrated circuits. For electrical testing a set of microscopic contacts or probes called a probe card are held in place whilst the wafer, vacuum-mounted on a wafer chuck, is moved into electrical contact. When a die (or array of dice) have been electrically tested the prober moves the wafer to the next die (or array) and the next test can start. The wafer prober is usually responsible for loading and unloading the wafers from their carrier (or cassette) and is equipped with automatic pattern recognition optics capable of aligning the wafer with sufficient accuracy to ensure accurate registration between the contact pads on the wafer and the tips of the probes.

For today’s multi-die packages such as stacked chip-scale package (SCSP) or System in Package (SiP) – the development of non-contact (RF) probes for identification of known tested die...
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