Imec is to partner with Cascade Microtech to develop test methods and methodologies for emerging 3D Through-Silicon-Via (TSV) structures. imec said it would install the first turnkey 3D test solution comprising of a 3D-TSV probe station and a new probe card from Cascade Microtech at its facilities in Leuven, Belgium. The probe station and probe cards will be used to characterize the through-silicon-vias in the chip stacks to improve reliability of stacked ICs for volume production.
"The complexity of the 3D-system supply chain is reflected in the partner portfolio of imec's 3D research program where leading IDMs, foundries, fabless companies, OSATs, equipment and material suppliers as well as EDA companies partner to develop and improve 3D technologies. A good alignment of these multi-disciplinary forces is required to make 3D-system integration an industrial reality," noted Erik Jan Marinissen, imec Principal Scientist. "The collaboration with Cascade Microtech in this early phase of engineering and development will enable us to identify challenges and provide solutions for test issues that are specific for 3D integrated systems. Enabling probing solutions for high-density interfaces, minimizing the impact of pre-bond testing on stacking yield and test access to buried layers are key challenges for testing 3D systems that we will address through this collaboration.
Michael Burger, President and CEO, Cascade Microtech noted that, "Probing and test were viewed as a major barrier to 3D-TSV development and manufacturing. We are looking forward to breaking through the barrier, paving the way for our mutual customers to quickly achieve extremely cost-effective 3D-TSV test solutions."