Scanimetrics Debuts Wi-TAP Non-contact, Virtual Probe for SiP Testing

Scanimetrics, Inc., a start-up company that helps enable Moore’s Law for nanoscale devices, officially debuted with the launch of its first product in the semiconductor test market, a revolutionary non-contact, “virtual probe” testing technology for the semiconductor industry. Since its founding in 2003, the Edmonton, Alberta-based company has been developing unique, RF-based technology, enabling chipmakers to both improve the performance of their devices and cut manufacturing costs up to 50 percent.

Scanimetrics introduced its patented Wi-TAP[TM](Wireless Test Access Port), which addresses the needs of advanced System-in-Package (SiP) chip manufacturers to test and identify defective devices from the very beginning of the assembly process, not just at the end. Until now, chipmakers have had no practical way to test for faulty devices until the entire multi-chip SiP package has been manufactured. As a result, they incur high costs in building entire SiP devices before being able to determine which ones are defective and need to be thrown out or reworked.

“As the first non-contact test access technology for multi-device packages, our Wi-TAP technology has a broad range of applications in the semiconductor industry,” said Steven Slupsky, president and CEO of Scanimetrics. “In the SiP market, Wi-TAP enables our customers to be more responsive to their customers. For instance, makers of consumer-oriented SiP devices are racing to add more functionality – cell phone, digital camera, Internet access, Web browsing, email, maps, and more – to handheld devices. It is critical that they bring new capabilities to market faster than ever, and Scanimetrics’ virtual probe technology makes that happen.”

“Scanimetrics is currently engaged with several major semiconductor manufacturers incorporating our Wi-TAP technology into their next generation SiP products. Further details and plans for productization will be available shortly.”

“Working with major chip manufacturers as implementation partners, we are developing additional products that will address specific semiconductor market sectors where we see strong opportunities,” Slupsky added.

By utilizing radio frequency (RF) transceivers embedded in the circuit to be tested and a complementary set of transceivers in the “virtual probe card,” Wi-TAP executes proximity testing of SiP devices across the gap between the probe card and the device under test (DUT). This enables chipmakers to test from the onset of SiP assembly and after the addition of each new chip. If and when a bad die is found or an assembly defect is detected the SiP package can be re-worked or eliminated before assembly is completed, ultimately saving millions of dollars in both chip costs and manufacturing time. Power is provided by a pair of traditional probe needles.

In addition, Wi-TAP’s non-contact probe technology enables chipmakers to:

  • Eliminate the mechanical constraints imposed by contact methods, allowing test costs to scale with Moore’s law
  • Gain greater flexibility than ever in reducing chip size and add more functionality onto the same chip “real estate”
  • Increase the speed of probe testing with the higher-bandwidth I/Os – signal bandwidth is no longer limited to several hundred MHz
  • Boost chip manufacturing yield and productivity by reducing the amount of damaged chips caused by physical contact-based probe techniques

Scanimetrics’ Wi-TAP technology is available through purchase of Wi-TAP chips and the complementary Wi-TAP-enabled probe cards. For more information on Scanimetrics and Wi-TAP technology, contact Scanimetrics at (780) 433-9441 or

About Scanimetrics
Scanimetrics, Inc., develops and markets a revolutionary non-contact virtual probe technology that helps to enable Moore’s Law for nanoscale devices. Its first products are targeted for testing semiconductor chips and system-in-package (SiP) devices using micro-scale radio frequency techniques. The company’s Wi-TAP (Wireless Test Access Port) non-contact testing technology enables chip manufacturers to dramatically reduce testing costs, increase testing speed and reliability, and eliminate manufacturing defects caused by standard, physical contact-based testing. By supporting reduced chip sizes, Scanimetrics enables chipmakers and their customers to respond faster to market demands for ever-smaller computing, communications, medical, automotive and other electronic devices. Scanimetrics works with some of the world’s largest chipmakers and equipment suppliers. Founded in 2003, the company is based in Edmonton, Alberta. For more information, call (780) 433-9441.