TOKYO -- In a move to increase flexibility and throughput in wafer-test operations, Tokyo Electron Ltd. today announced an enhanced version of its P-12XL prober, which adds a new sort loader, semi-automatic probe card changer, and an improved wide area probe polish feature.
The enhanced version of the system also has options for Front Opening Unified Pods (FOUPs), 300-mm cassettes, and 200-mm cassettes. TEL said the new sort loader is capable of handling these various cassette options, without making physical adjustments to the prober.
TEL said it has sold more than 200 of its original P-12XL systems since releasing the prober on the market in the first quarter 2000. The enhanced version of the system will begin shipping to customers in the second quarter of 2002.
According to TEL, facilities have recently begun processing both 200- and 300-mm wafers on the same test floor. The new features in the enhanced version of the P-12XL are intended to help probe-testing operations easily handle a variety of wafer sizes.
Test heads on probers are also becoming larger as semiconductor devices become more complex. The new sort loader is a flat-top design, which allows large and regular-sized test heads to be used on the system without increasing the size of the prober or test-cell footprint, said the company.
In addition, the new semi-automatic probe card changer (SACC) option allows for handling of larger and heavier probe cards. The wide area probe polish (WAPP) feature enables on-line cleaning of larger probe cards used to handle multiple-die measurements of DRAMs and increased I/O devices.