ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. Schlumberger is touting its IHS 1000th as the world's most advanced thermal-control test handling system, meant to deliver high testing accuracy in the high-volume semiconductor production environment. Introduced at the International Test Conference, the IHS 1000th will help manufacturers conquer the thermal challenge, the company said, leading immediately to increased yields of high-speed devices, improved process control and added value to the bottom line. Developed as the only system to exceed the Semiconductor Industry Association road map forecast, the platform is scalable to keep pace with future generations of devices designed with even greater power and frequency requirements.
"IC manufacturers can gain greater benefit from their investment in advanced circuit designs and new processes if they use active closed-loop thermal control in characterizations and production test," said Risto Puhakka, vice president for operations at VLSI Research Inc. "Schlumberger's IHS 1000th thermal handler with power balancing is the only system that delivers an active closed-loop thermal-control solution in a manufacturing environment."
The increasing power densities of today's high-speed devices have placed harsh demands on the ability of test handling systems to precisely manage the thermal effects of at-speed test. Until now, the result has been decreased yields of the most profitable devices.
To overcome the die temperature control issue, Schlumberger applied its proprietary Power Balancing solution to the task of providing minimal set-point deviation. This feature eliminates the risk of thermal damage during final manufacturing test and recovers bin 1 yields that are lost because of device self-heating.
Also, by leveraging technology formerly available only for design and validation environments (the Schlumberger ETC1000 and the IHS 1000tx, introduced earlier this year), the IHS 1000th offers an innovative handling solution that multiplies the test accuracy achievable in development phases, and applies it across full-scale production.
"The business value of employing precision thermal control to increase the yield of market-leading devices is compel- ling," said Jackie Tubis, president of Schlumberger Automated Test Equipment.
At the moment, the IHS 1000th thermally controls devices under test at more than 100 watts per square centimeter, outperforming the current norm, which is less than 30 W/cm2. That is years ahead of current SIA road map predictions.
The thermal-system price is roughly $600,000.
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