Company Overview

Manipulator and Docking Hardware

Test Interfaces

Thermal Management Products



How inTEST Products are Used by the Semiconductor Industry


inTEST helps semiconductor manufacturers test their products more efficiently, and thus reduce their manufacturing cost.

You’ve probably noticed that tiny integrated circuits (ICs) are everywhere today,making possible an ever-growing multitude of useful electronic devices. You’ll find them in everything from computers to cell phones, automobiles to airplanes. The semiconductor industry manufactures these ICs.

By means of the industry’s extraordinarily precise manufacturing techniques,these tiny, multi-layered ICs are “printed” onto circular wafers made of a semiconductor material, often silicon. For manufacturing efficiency, each semiconductor wafer is “printed” with a very large number of ICs. In fact, the number of ICs on the wafer has continually increased as technological advances have shrunk the size of the individual ICs. Today some silicon wafers carry thousands of ICs.

And each one has to be tested.

 


Efficient Testing Boosts Profitability.

Any break or other malfunction in an IC’s microscopically small printed circuitry will render it useless. Semiconductor manufacturers want to make sure that any bad ICs are identified by testing and removed before further manufacturing dollars are invested in them.

Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) manufacturers have created extremely advanced testers to test the ICs, both while they are still part of the round silicon wafer and also later in the manufacturing process.

Each IC is individually tested by sending electrical signals from the tester into theIC’s circuitry. A returning signal leaves the IC and goes back to the tester for evaluation. Bad ICs are identified in this way and are discarded, so no further manufacturing effort – or cost – is invested in them.

As complex and sophisticated as these testers are, they are often quite heavy,weighing as much as three thousand pounds. But despite their size, they must be maneuvered into position with great precision to test the ICs. And to keep the manufacturing process efficient, this precise maneuvering must be done very quickly.

That’s where inTEST’s equipment comes in.

 


inTEST Products Reduce the Cost of Testing.

Test head manipulator.

 

 

 

 

Wafer test interface.

 

 

 

Docking equipment.

 

 

 

Thermal test system.

 

 

 

inTEST manipulators hold the heavy tester and allow the test floor personnel to move it into and out of the test position quickly and safely. This increases the speed and efficiency of the testing process. inTEST docking equipment speeds up this process, too, guiding the tester into its final test position quickly and holding it in position securely and accurately as it tests the ICs.

Any given tester model is designed to test a wide variety of different ICs. Because each type of IC has different circuit configurations, an adapter is needed between the “generic” tester and the particular kind of IC being tested. inTEST
interfaces are used to do this. They electronically customize the interface, providing an electronic bridge between the tester and the specific type of IC being tested.

inTEST interfaces are well known for the extraordinary fidelity with which they pass signals between the IC under test and the tester. This high fidelity is very important to the profitability of semiconductor manufacturers because it helps ensure that only bad ICs are discarded.

Many ICs face challenging environmental conditions when they go into service. One of the greatest of these challenges is the stress posed by heat and cold. Semiconductor manufacturers, as well as electronics manufacturers and users in a wide variety of other industries, need to thermally test their ICs to ensure that they won’t fail under extreme temperature conditions in actual use.

inTEST’s
thermal test products (designed, manufactured, and marketed by our Temptronic operating segment) are used to quickly bring electronic circuits to the temperature needed for testing. Instead of requiring the electronics to be brought to an immobile central oven for heating or cooling, many Temptronic products are mobile; they bring the temperature to the electronics, making many kinds of temperature testing far more convenient and cost efficient.




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