WESTWOOD, Mass. -- LTX Corp. here today announced an alliance with privately held Kinetic Probe LLC to jointly develop high-frequency wafer probe capabilities that will enable chip makers to test radio-frequency ICs at the wafer level instead of waiting until they are assembled in packages.
The development work will leverage Kinetic Probe's patented technology that provides a method of contacting wafers for test at the probe stage, said LTX, a supplier of automatic test equipment. Testing RF devices at the wafer level can potentially save costs and time since poor-performing ICs will not have to be packaged before they are screened at final testing operations.
"Kinetic Probe has developed and patented a technology that can power the growth of communications IC testing," said Roger Blethen, president and chief executive officer of LTX in Westwood. "As system-on-a-chip designs become the preferred vehicle for advanced, high-frequency chips, our investments in innovative technologies will further build Fusion's advantages at probe test," he said referring to his company's system-on-chip ATE products.
"In an increasing number of applications, such as Bluetooth, high-frequency, unpackaged ICs will be required for the next level of integration," Blethen said. "We will continue to seek and invest in advancements that bring technology and value to the leading SoC producers."
Under the partnership, the two companies will apply the patented probe technique to LTX's Fusion platform, said Lee Talbert, president of Kinetic Probe, based in San Diego.