Formfactor Patent Grants

Probe card assembly for testing electronic devices

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9588139
A probe card assembly can comprise a guide plate comprising probe guides for holding probes in predetermined positions. The probe card assembly can also comprise a wiring structure attached to the guide plate so that connection tips of the probes are positioned against and attached to contacts on the wiring structure. The attachment of the guide plate to the wiring structure can allow the wiring structure to expand or contract at a greater rate than the guide plate. The probes can…

Wiring substrate with filled vias to accommodate custom terminals

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9523715
A probe card assembly and associated processes of forming them may include a wiring substrate with a first surface and an opposite surface, an electrically conductive first via comprising electrically conductive material extending into the wiring substrate from the opposite surface and ending before reaching the first surface, and a plurality of electrically conductive second vias, and a custom electrically conductive terminal disposed on the first surface such that said custom terminal…

Multiple contact probes

Granted: April 19, 2016
Patent Number: 9316670
The present invention is a probe array for testing an electrical device under test comprising one or more ground/power probes and one or more signal probes and optionally a gas flow apparatus.

Probe retention arrangement

Granted: April 12, 2016
Patent Number: 9310428
A retention arrangement that includes one or more templates for securing and aligning probes for testing a device under test.

Vertical probe array arranged to provide space transformation

Granted: March 1, 2016
Patent Number: 9274143
Improved probing of closely spaced contact pads is provided by an array of vertical probes having all of the probe tips aligned along a single contact line, while the probe bases are arranged in an array having two or more rows parallel to the contact line. With this arrangement of probes, the probe base thickness can be made greater than the contact pad spacing along the contact line, thereby advantageously increasing the lateral stiffness of the probes. The probe tip thickness is less…

Hybrid electrical contactor

Granted: January 5, 2016
Patent Number: 9229029
An electrical connection between an electrically conductive probe on one device and a compliant pad on another device can be formed by piercing the compliant pad with the probe. The probe can contact multiple electrically conductive elements inside the pad and thereby electrically connect to the pad at multiple locations inside the pad.

Probes with offset arm and suspension structure

Granted: September 1, 2015
Patent Number: 9121868
A probe having a conductive body and a contacting tip that is terminated by one or more blunt skates for engaging a conductive pad of a device under test (DUT) for performing electrical testing. The contacting tip has a certain width and the blunt skate is narrower than the tip width. The skate is aligned along a scrub direction and also has a certain curvature along the scrub direction such that it may undergo both a scrub motion and a self-cleaning rotation upon application of a…

Layered probes with core

Granted: August 4, 2015
Patent Number: 9097740
A probe for testing an electrical device under test. The probe has at least two outer layers and a core layer that is highly conductive. The core layer is disposed between the outer layers.

Attachment of an electrical element to an electronic device using a conductive material

Granted: July 14, 2015
Patent Number: 9081037
An electrical element can be attached and electrically connected to a substrate by a conductive adhesive material. The conductive adhesive material can electrically connect the electrical element to a terminal or other electrical conductor on the substrate. The conductive adhesive material can be cured by directing a flow of heated gas onto the material or by heating the material through a support structure on which the substrate is located. A non-conductive adhesive material can attach…

Probe with cantilevered beam having solid and hollow sections

Granted: June 9, 2015
Patent Number: 9052342
An electrically conductive probe can comprise a post to which a beam structure is attached. The beam structure can comprise a cantilevered portion that extends away from the post to a free end to which a contact structure can be attached. The cantilevered portion of the beam can include both a solid section and a hollow section. Multiple such probes can be used in a test contactor to make electrical connections with an electronic device such as a semiconductor die or dies to be tested.

Wireless probe card verification system and method

Granted: May 19, 2015
Patent Number: 9037432
A probe card assembly can include a wireless link to an external verifier (e.g., debugger). The wireless link can interface to a boundary scan interface of a controller on the probe card assembly. The wireless link can allow for verification of the probe card assembly while it is installed within a prober.

Sharpened, oriented contact tip structures

Granted: May 12, 2015
Patent Number: 9030222
An apparatus and method providing improved interconnection elements and tip structures for effecting pressure connections between terminals of electronic components is described. The tip structure of the present invention has a sharpened blade oriented on the upper surface of the tip structure such that the length of the blade is substantially parallel to the direction of horizontal movement of the tip structure as the tip structure deflects across the terminal of an electronic…

Testing techniques for through-device vias

Granted: November 25, 2014
Patent Number: 8896336
Techniques for testing an electronic device with through-device vias can include using a probe card assembly with probes for contacting connection structures of the electronic device including ends of through-device vias of the electronic device. A pair of the probes can be electrically connected in the probe card assembly and can thus contact and form a direct return loop from one through-device via to another through-device via of a pair of the through-device vias with which the pair…

Elastic encapsulated carbon nanotube based electrical contacts

Granted: October 28, 2014
Patent Number: 8872176
Contacts of an electrical device can be made of carbon nanotube columns. Contact tips can be disposed at ends of the columns. The contact tips can be made of an electrically conductive paste applied to the ends of the columns and cured (e.g., hardened). The paste can be applied, cured, and/or otherwise treated to make the contact tips in desired shapes. The carbon nanotube columns can be encapsulated in an elastic material that can impart the dominant mechanical characteristics, such as…

Wafer test cassette system

Granted: October 28, 2014
Patent Number: 8872532
Wafer cassette systems and methods of using wafer cassette systems. A wafer cassette system can include a base and a probe card assembly. The base and the probe card assembly can each include complementary interlocking alignment elements. The alignment elements can constrain relative movement of the base and probe card assembly in directions parallel to a wafer receiving surface of the base, while permitting relative movement in a direction perpendicular to the receiving surface.

Method and apparatus for testing devices using serially controlled intelligent switches

Granted: October 28, 2014
Patent Number: 8872534
Methods and apparatus for testing devices using serially controlled intelligent switches have been described. In some embodiments, a probe card assembly can be provided that includes a plurality of integrated circuits (ICs) serially coupled to form a chain, the chain coupled to at least one serial control line, the plurality of ICs including switches coupled to test probes, each of the switches being programmable responsive to a control signal on the at least one serial control line.

Fine pitch guided vertical probe array having enclosed probe flexures

Granted: September 9, 2014
Patent Number: 8829937
Probes suitable for use with densely packed fine-pitch 2-D contact arrays are provided by use of an electrically insulating guide plate in connection with vertical probes, where the vertical probes have probe flexures that are either vertically folded sections, or coils having a horizontal axis. Preferably, the probes are configured such that the probe flexures are inside the guide plate holes, and the parts of the probes extending past the guide plate are relatively rigid. This…

Methods and apparatuses for dynamic probe adjustment

Granted: July 15, 2014
Patent Number: 8781779
An improved method and apparatus for automatically aligning probe pins to the test or bond pads of semiconductor devices under changing conditions. In at least one embodiment, a dynamic model is used to predict an impact of changing conditions to wafer probing process. This reduces the need for frequent measurements and calibrations during probing and testing, thereby increasing the number of dice that can be probed and tested in a given period of time and increasing the accuracy of…

Carbon nanotube contact structures for use with semiconductor dies and other electronic devices

Granted: June 24, 2014
Patent Number: 8756802
A method of making carbon nanotube contact structures on an electronic device includes growing a plurality of carbon nanotube columns on a mandrel. Electrically-conductive adhesive is applied to ends of the columns distal from the mandrel, and the columns are transferred to the electronic device. An electrically-conductive material is deposited onto some or all of the columns. The mandrel can be reused to grow a second plurality of carbon nanotube columns.

Probe card stiffener with decoupling

Granted: May 27, 2014
Patent Number: 8736294
A stiffener for a probe card assembly can include decoupling mechanisms disposed within radial arms of the stiffener. The decoupling mechanisms can be compliant in a direction along a radial direction of said radial arm and rigid in a direction perpendicular to said radial arm. The decoupling mechanisms can decouple the stiffener from thermally induced differential radial contraction and expansion of the stiffener relative to the cardholder to which the stiffener is mounted. This can…