Semiconductor Testing & Prober Technology Insights

Device Characterization and Failure Analysis on High Power Analog Amplifier Products

August 28, 2018

 Success Story - USA

When a leading innovator of integrated circuits, hybrids and modules used in industrial and aerospace applications that require high-power precision analog products, such as PWM and power amplifiers needed to characterize their devices, they turned to the Probe System for Life (PS4L).

These precision amplifiers are used for driving motors, piezo electrics, programmable power supplies and other devices requiring high power and precision control.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for Probing at High Temperature
 Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in a fixture for Probing at temperature
PS4L Manual Probe System Compound Microscope Thermal Control System

Manual PS4L Probe System with compound optics and thermal control system

The application required the ability to quickly change configurations from ambient to high temperature and the ability to probe devices mounted on printed circuit boards (PCB).

For the Failure Analysis (FA) application, high power magnification was needed to land probes on small structures. For this reason, a compound microscope was chosen. Probing on these small structures also required vibration isolation  because the base of the PS4L system is integral to the vibration isolation system, the machine base became the table top for the isolation system. The devices to test were small and required a minimum of stage travel.

For this reason, the PS4L offered an advantage of a small but precise stage with micrometer drives for positioning. Within minutes, this small stage could be removed and replaced with the thermal unit custom configured to hold the device board at elevated temperature. The device was then probed using the same components used on the standard stage. The unique small thermal unit for packaged parts, small wafers and fragments provided the customer with a significant cost advantage over using the thermal chuck solutions offered by competitors. Failure Analysis (FA) System

 Versatile PS4L Manual Probing Platform used to test wafers and packaged parts

The PS4L probing platform was designed to provide the customer many options on how to configure their system.  All  key building blocks are interchangeable.  There are numerous accessories and modules that can be purchased initially or at a later date.

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Topics: Accessories, High Power, Device Characterization, Failure Analysis

Author: Denis Place

Denis Place is one of the founders of SemiProbe and has more than 35 years of experience working in the international semiconductor industry. He has degrees in electrical engineering and business management. Place is in a unique position, because he personally used and worked with probing systems for many years before starting his own semiconductor probing company.
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