FormFactor to Manufacture Keithley Parametric Test Probe Cards

Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, announced that it has qualified FormFactor, Inc., (Nasdaq:FORM), Livermore, California, to manufacture high performance parametric test probe cards for Keithley’s semiconductor parametric testers. FormFactor’s probe cards will be used with Keithley S600 Series parametric testers to measure very low-level DC currents as well as standard DC parametric tests on pins that contact a semiconductor wafer. Wafer fabricators and foundries employ S600 Series testers to qualify wafers for assembly and packaging as well as process monitoring.

FormFactor’s Takumi probe cards are well suited to applications involving Keithley’s most advanced parametric tester, the Model S680 DC/RF Parametric Test System. The Model S680 is designed for wafer-level parametric testing of advanced logic, memory, and analog ICs. In a single test system, it combines parallel testing capability, high DC sensitivity, femtoamp-level resolution, and RF s-parameter measurements up to 40GHz. This provides the industry’s highest throughput and a lower cost of ownership for measurements at the 65nm node and beyond.

The Model S680 is ideal for sensitive, high speed testing. Its signal preamplifiers, located in the test head, boost low level signals within centimeters of the probe needles, then transmit the boosted signals over cables to the measurement instruments in the system cabinet. This approach eliminates the speed and sensitivity losses that typically result from cable and switch matrix effects. External instruments can be directly connected to the probe needles using the eight general-purpose pathways.

Keithley considers FormFactor’s technology to be a leading edge design for demanding, small pad size, small pitch applications that must support high performance measurements in ever-shrinking test structures and scribe lines.

“Qualification of FormFactor demonstrates Keithley’s continuing drive to offer the latest technologies for probe cards and parametric test metrology, and to expand the number of probe card options available to our customers,” said Mark Hoersten, Keithley’s vice president, business management. “FormFactor probe cards represent a critical high performance technology that meets the precision measurement challenges posed by the shrinking components used in today’s electronic equipment.”

“Expanding our Takumi parametric platform for Keithley testers is important for the customers of both of our companies,” said Benjamin N. Eldridge, FormFactor’s senior vice president – research & development and chief technology officer. “Semiconductor manufacturers must rely on test companies to provide the very latest measurement technologies as they migrate to devices at the 65nm node and below, particularly as part of a tightly integrated solution. Working closely with Keithley, with its long history as an innovative leader in low level DC semiconductor test, has allowed us to optimize our combined technologies.”

About Keithley
With more than 60 years of measurement expertise, Keithley Instruments has become a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems from DC to RF (radio frequency). Our products solve emerging measurement needs in production testing, process monitoring, product development, and research. Our customers are scientists and engineers in the worldwide electronics industry involved with advanced materials research, semiconductor device development and fabrication, and the production of end products such as portable wireless devices. The value we provide them is a combination of precision measurement technology and a rich understanding of their applications to improve the quality of their products and reduce their cost of test.

About FormFactor
Founded in 1993, FormFactor, Inc. is the leader in advanced wafer probe cards, which are used by semiconductor manufacturers to electrically test ICs. The company’s wafer sort, burn-in and device performance testing products move IC testing upstream from post-packaging to the wafer level, enabling semiconductor manufacturers to lower their overall production costs, improve yields, and bring next-generation devices to market. FormFactor is headquartered in Livermore, California with operations in Europe, Asia and North America.