Formfactor Patent Grants

Probes with programmable motion

Granted: June 26, 2018
Patent Number: 10006938
The elongated body of an electrically conductive contact probe can be disposed in a guide hole and can include a patterned region for engaging and riding on a contact region of an inner sidewall of the guide hole as the elongated body moves in the guide hole in response to a force on a tip of the probe. As the patterned region rides the contact region, the tip moves in a lateral pattern that is a function of the surface(s) of the patterned region.

Floating nest for a test socket

Granted: May 1, 2018
Patent Number: 9958476
A test socket for facilitating testing of a device under test (DUT) includes a holder comprising a mounting structure for attaching the holder to other components of the socket and a floating nest structure in which the DUT can be disposed. The floating nest structure can have a seat cavity sized and shaped to receive and hold the DUT such that at least some of the DUT terminals are in contact with corresponding contacts of a test board while the test socket is attached to the test…

Wiring substrate with filled vias to accommodate custom terminals

Granted: January 16, 2018
Patent Number: 9869697
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…

Non-linear vertical leaf spring

Granted: July 11, 2017
Patent Number: 9702904
An electrically conductive contact element can include a first base and a second base with elongate, spaced apart leaves between the bases. A first end of each leaf can be coupled to the first base and an opposite second end of the leaf can be coupled to the second base. A body of the leaf between the first end and the second end can be sufficiently elongate to respond to a force through said contact element substantially parallel with the first axis and the second axis by first…

Automated attaching and detaching of an interchangeable probe head

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9689915
A probe card apparatus can comprise a tester interface to a test controller, probes for contacting terminals of electronic devices to be tested, and electrical connections there between. The probe card apparatus can comprise a primary sub-assembly, which can include the tester interface. The probe card apparatus can also comprise an interchangeable probe head, which can include the probes. The interchangeable probe head can be attached to and detached from the primary sub-assembly while…

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.