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Publication numberUS20050280427 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/057,242
Publication dateDec 22, 2005
Filing dateFeb 15, 2005
Priority dateJun 16, 2004
Also published asUS7436171, US20080074121
Publication number057242, 11057242, US 2005/0280427 A1, US 2005/280427 A1, US 20050280427 A1, US 20050280427A1, US 2005280427 A1, US 2005280427A1, US-A1-20050280427, US-A1-2005280427, US2005/0280427A1, US2005/280427A1, US20050280427 A1, US20050280427A1, US2005280427 A1, US2005280427A1
InventorsChoon-Leong Lou, Mei-Shu Hsu
Original AssigneeStar Technologies Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices
US 20050280427 A1
Abstract
The present probing apparatus includes a platform with a rectangular opening, two slides positioned at two sides of the opening in a parallel manner, at least one non-circular beam and at least one tunable stage positioned on the non-circular beam. The non-circular beam is preferably a rectangular beam with two ends positioned on the two slides through two first sliding bases, respectively. The tunable stage comprises a carrier for loading a probe card, a first driving module for adjusting a relative position along x-axis between the probe card and the device under test (DUT), a second driving module for adjusting a relative position along y-axis between the probe card and the DUT, a third driving module for adjusting a relative position along z-axis between the probe card and the DUT, and an angular adjusting module for adjusting an angle between the probe card and the DUT.
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Claims(15)
1. An apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices, comprising:
a platform with an opening;
two slides positioned at two sides of the opening;
at least one non-circular beam with two ends positioned on the two slides; and
at least one tunable stage positioned on the non-circular beam, comprising:
a carrier for loading a probe card; and
an angular adjusting module for adjusting an angle between the probe card and an integrated circuit device under test by rotating the carrier.
2. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 1, wherein the angular adjusting module comprises:
a worm gear positioned on the carrier; and
a worm shaft for rotating the worm gear.
3. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 2, wherein the worm shaft is substantially perpendicular to a rotation shaft of the worm gear.
4. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 1, wherein the angular adjusting module comprises:
a first gear positioned on the carrier;
a second gear connected to the first gear; and
a rotary member connected to the second gear for rotating the second gear so as to rotate the first gear.
5. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 4, wherein an acute angle is formed between a rotation shaft of the first gear and that of the second gear.
6. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 1, wherein the tunable stage comprises:
a first driving module for adjusting a relative position along x-axis between the probe card and the device under test;
a second driving module for adjusting a relative position along y-axis between the probe card and the device under test; and
a third driving module for adjusting a relative position along z-axis between the probe card and the device under test.
7. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 1, wherein the non-circular beam is connected to the slide through a first sliding base.
8. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 1, wherein the tunable stage is connected to the non-circular beam through a second sliding base.
9. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 1, wherein the opening of the platform is rectangular.
10. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 1, wherein the non-circular beam is a rectangular beam.
11. An apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices, comprising:
a platform with an opening;
two slides positioned at two sides of the opening;
at least one non-circular beam with two ends positioned on the two slides; and
at least one tunable stage positioned on the non-circular beam, comprising:
a first driving module for adjusting a relative position along x-axis between the probe card and an integrated circuit device under test;
a second driving module for adjusting a relative position along y-axis between the probe card and the device under test; and
a third driving module for adjusting a relative position along z-axis between the probe card and the device under test.
12. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 11, wherein the non-circular beam is connected to the slide through a first sliding base.
13. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 11, wherein the tunable stage is connected to the non-circular beam through a second sliding base.
14. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 11, wherein the opening of the platform is rectangular.
15. The apparatus for probing multiple integrated circuit devices of claim 11, wherein the non-circular beam is a rectangular beam.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(A) Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an apparatus for probing multiple devices under test, and more particularly, to a probing apparatus for acquiring electrical properties of a plurality of integrated circuit device under test simultaneously.

(B) Description of the Related Art

In the manufacturing process of integrated circuit devices, a probe card is used to probe electrical properties to sieve out integrated circuit devices that do not meet the product specifications. Traditionally, the probe card is designed according to the specification and the position of signal pads of the device under test, each probe is positioned on a supporter, and epoxy resin is used to adhere the probe onto the supporter. The probe card is then positioned on a printed circuit board conforming to the device under test. Finally, the position of each probe is precisely adjusted to meet the specification of the device under test in order to carry out accurate and steady electrical testing.

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a probe card 10 according to the prior art. As shown in FIG. 1, the probe card 10 comprises a circuit board 12, a supporter 14 positioned on the circuit board 12, a plurality of probes 16 fixed on the supporter 14, and a via hole 20 electrically connected to the probe 16 and a wire 26. In order to prevent the horizontal position of the probe 16 from shifting by the increased service time, the probe 16 is fixed on supporter 14 by epoxy resin 24. When probing the electrical property of an integrated circuit device 30, the probe card 10 is positioned on a testing machine (not shown in FIG. 1). The testing machine moves the probe card 10 to form an electrical contact between the signal site 38 of the probe 16 and the integrated circuit device 30 so that testing signals can be transmitted.

However, once the probe card 10 is completed, it can only be used to probe the electrical property of the integrated circuit device with the same specification. If the arrangement or distance of the signal pad of a new integrated circuit device is different from that of the integrated circuit device 30, a new probe card has to be manufactured for the new integrated circuit device. Therefore, the traditional probe card 10 does not possess any flexibility to be applied to different integrated circuit devices; hence the testing cost cannot be lowered.

Furthermore, since new technology dramatically shortens the time and process for fabricating the integrated circuit device, how to efficiently control the testing time becomes a key in controlling the entire manufacturing time of the integrated circuit device. Consequently, many companies manufacturing the probe card recently attempted to perform the testing of multiple devices at the same time by changing the way for arranging the probes so as to shorten testing time of integrated circuit devices. However, all these manufacturing companies meet the same problem that the relative position between probing points is fixed, even for the probe card capable of performing multiple devices testing. For example, if the probe card is designed to test four adjacent integrated circuit devices simultaneously, the user has to replace the probe card to test four integrated circuit devices not adjacent to each other or with different relative position, i.e., there is no flexibility for applying the probe card to other devices. As a result, the manufacturer must prepare a new probe card, which costs extra time and money, and the testing time of the integrated circuit device cannot be decreased.

FIGS. 2 to 4 are schematic diagrams of a probing apparatus according to the prior art, disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,011,405. As shown in FIG. 2, a plurality of probes 42 are positioned on a wedge card 40, which is positioned on a manipulator 44 of the probing apparatus. Turning the screw 45 will move the manipulator 44 along z-axis to adjust the relative vertical position between the wedge card 40 and a device under test.

Please refer to FIG. 3, in which both ends of a rod 70 are positioned on two parallel platen 60 through two manipulators 74, both ends of another rod 72 are positioned on another two parallel platen 60 through two manipulators 76, and an manipulator 66 is mounted on the two orthogonal rods 70, 72. That is to say, two sets of parallel platens 60 enclose an opening 64, while the two orthogonal rods 70, 72 are positioned on the parallel platens 60. The wedge card 40 is positioned on the manipulator 66, and the relative position along x-axis and y-axis between the probe 42 on the wedge card 40 and a device under test can be adjusted by moving the two orthogonal rods 70, 72 on the platen 60 along x-axis and y-axis. Since the abovementioned design uses the round rod to bear the manipulator 66, it needs two orthogonal rods 70, 72 to prevent the manipulator 66 from overturning.

As shown in FIG. 4, the abovementioned design can increase the number of the manipulator 66 and the two orthogonal rods 70, 72 to implement the multi-dies testing simultaneously. However, the manipulator 66 must be supported by two orthogonal rods 70, 72, which restrict the manipulator 66 to move along x-axis and y-axis. For example, three manipulators 66 on the same rod 70 must be at the same position along y-axis, while three manipulators 66 on the same rod 72 must be at the same position along x-axis. In other words, the abovementioned design is only suitable to probe the electrical property of the integrated circuit device arranged in an array manner. If the integrated circuit device is not arranged in an array manner, individual orthogonal rods 70, 72 are needed to support each manipulator 66 so that the abovementioned design can be applied. Consequently, not only the complexity of the design increases, but also the number of the integrated circuit devices under test simultaneously decreases.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The objective of the present invention is to provide a probing apparatus for acquiring electrical properties of a plurality of integrated circuit devices under test simultaneously.

In order to achieve the above-mentioned objective, and to avoid the problems of the prior art, the present invention provides a probing apparatus for acquiring a plurality of integrated circuit devices under test simultaneously. The present probing apparatus comprises a platform with a rectangular opening, two slides positioned at two sides of the opening in a parallel manner, at least one non-circular beam with two ends positioned on the two slides and at least one tunable stage positioned on the non-circular beam. The non-circular beam is preferably a rectangular beam with two ends positioned on the two slides through two first sliding bases, respectively.

The tunable stage comprises a carrier for loading a probe card, a first driving module for adjusting a relative position along x-axis between the probe card and the device under test, a second driving module for adjusting a relative position along y-axis between the probe card and the device under test, a third driving module for adjusting a relative position along z-axis between the probe card and the device under test, and an angular adjusting module for adjusting an angle between the probe card and the device under test by rotating the carrier. The tunable stage is positioned on the non-circular beam through a second sliding base.

According to the first embodiment of the present invention, the angular adjusting module comprises a worm gear positioned on the carrier and a worm shaft connected to the worm gear, wherein the worm shaft is substantially perpendicular to a rotation shaft of the worm gear. To adjust the relative angle between the probe card and the device under test, the worm shaft is turned to rotate the worm on the carrier.

According to the second embodiment of the present invention, the angular adjusting module comprises a first gear positioned on the carrier, a second gear connected to the first gear and a rotary member connected to the second gear, wherein an acute angle is formed between a rotation shaft of the first gear and that of the second gear. To adjust the relative angle between the probe card and the device under test, the rotary member is turned to rotate the second gear, which will further rotate the first gear on the carrier.

Compared with the prior art, the present probing apparatus can position several probe cards on individual tunable stage, respectively. The user can adjust the position of the probe card along x-axis, y-axis and z-axis according to the specification of the device under test freely. That is to say, the present invention actually implements multi-dies testing and shortens the testing time of the device effectively. In addition, the angular adjusting module on the present invention can adjust the relative angle between the probe card and the device under test, which further provides more adjusting flexibility for users to apply the probe card to probe the electrical property of the integrated circuit devices with different specifications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objectives and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following description and upon reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a probe card according to the prior art;

FIGS. 2 to 4 are schematic diagrams of a probing apparatus according to the prior art;

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a probing apparatus for acquiring the electrical properties of a plurality of integrated circuit devices according to the present invention;

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a tunable stage according to the present invention; and

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate an angular adjusting module according to the first embodiment of the present invention; and

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate an angular adjusting module according to the second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a probing apparatus 100 for acquiring the electrical properties of a plurality of integrated circuit devices (dies) according to the present invention. As shown in FIG. 5, the probing apparatus 100 comprises a platform 110 with a rectangular opening 112, two slides 116 positioned at two sides of the rectangular opening 112 in a parallel manner, a plurality of non-circular beams 120 with two ends positioned on the two slides 116 and a tunable stage 140 positioned on the non-circular beam 120. The non-circular beam 120 is preferably a rectangular beam with two ends positioned on the two slides 116 through two first sliding bases 118, respectively. The platform 110 can be fixed on a testing machine (not shown in the figures) by a plurality of fasteners fixing devices such as screws.

Compared with the probing apparatus disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,011,405, substantially only applicable to the integrated circuit devices arranged in an array manner (see FIG. 4), the present tunable stage 140 can be freely moved along the lateral direction without restrictions since the tunable stage 140 is supported by only one non-circular beam 120. That is to say, the present probing apparatus 100 can be used to probe the electrical property of the integrated circuit devices arranged in a non-array manner by flexibly adjusting the lateral position of the tunable stage 140 on the non-circular beam 120.

Particularly, when the prior art probing apparatus is applied to probe the integrated circuit device arranged in a non-array manner, individual orthogonal rods 70, 72 must be used to support each manipulator 66, respectively (see FIG. 4). In the contrary, when the present probing apparatus 100 is used to probe the electrical property of the integrated circuit device arranged in a non-array manner, several tunable stages 140 can still be positioned on the same beam 120 without influencing the adjustment of the lateral position. Furthermore, the prior art uses two sets of parallel platens 60 and two orthogonal rods 70, 72 are required to support each manipulator 66, while the present invention only uses one pair of parallel slides 116 and each tunable stage 140 is supported only by one beam 120. Obviously, the present invention possesses a simpler design than the prior art. In summary, besides the simpler design of the present probing apparatus 100, the number (or density) of the integrated circuit devices to be simultaneously tested is higher than that of the prior art.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the tunable stage 140 according to the present invention. The tunable stage 140 is positioned on the non-circular beam 120 by the second slide base 142, and can be fixed at any position of the non-circular beam 120 by a bolt 144. The tunable stage 140 comprises a carrier 190 for loading a probe card 92, a first driving module 150 for adjusting a relative position along x-axis between the probe card 92 and the device under test, a second driving module 160 for adjusting a relative position along y-axis between the probe card 92 and the device under test, a third driving module 170 for adjusting a relative position along z-axis between the probe card 92 and the device under test, and an angular adjusting module 180 for adjusting an angle between the probe card 90 and the device under test by rotating the carrier 190.

The first adjusting module 150 is a micrometer screw gauge, and turning the micrometer screw gauge changes the relative lateral position between the member 152 and the member 154, which will further change the relative position along x-axis between the probe card 192 and the device under test. The member 172 is fixed on the member 154, and turning the third adjusting module 170 changes the relative vertical position between the member 172 and 174, which will further change the relative position along z-axis between the probe card 192 and the device under test. The member 162 is fixed on the member 174 and the member 164 is connected to the carrier 190. Turning the y-axis adjusting module 160 will change the relative longitudinal position between the member 162 and the member 164, so as to adjust the relative position along y-axis between the probe card 192 and the device under test.

FIG. 8 and FIG. 9 illustrate the angular adjusting module 180 according to the first embodiment of the present invention. The member 164 is attached to the member 162 by two transmission modules 200 and connected to the carrier 190 by a buffer member 186. Particularly, each transmission module 200 comprises four steel rods 202 and several balls 204 positioned between the four steel rods 202, wherein two of the rods 202 are inserted in the recess 166 of the member 162 and the other two rods 202 are inserted in the recess 168 of the member 164. The probe card 192 is positioned in the slot 194 and secured by a bolt 196. The angular adjusting module 180 comprises a worm gear 182 positioned on the carrier 190 and a worm shaft 184 connected to the worm gear 182, wherein the worm shaft 184 is substantially perpendicular to the rotation shaft of the worm gear 182, as shown in FIG. 9. Turning the worm shaft 184 will rotate the worm gear 182, and the relative angle between the member 164 and the carrier 190 can be adjusted.

FIG. 10 and FIG. 11 illustrate the angular adjusting module 230 according to the second embodiment of the present invention. The angular adjusting module 230 comprises a first gear 232 positioned on the carrier 190, a second gear 234 connected to the first gear 232 and a rotary member 236 connected to the second gear 234. Turning the rotary member 236 will rotates the secondary gear 234, which will further rotate the first gear 232 to adjust the relative angle between the member 164 and the carrier 190. The included angle between the rotation axis of the first gear 232 and that of the second gear 234 is an acute angle, as shown in FIG. 10.

To apply the present invention to probe multiple integrated circuit devices, the number of the beam 120 is calculated according to the number and position of the integrated circuit devices under test at first. The beam 120 is then positioned on the slide 116 at both sides of the rectangular opening 112 by two first slide bases 118, which can move on the slide 116 so that the beam 120 can move on the slide 116 at both sides of the rectangular opening 112 along y-axis at a synchronous manner. The second slide base 142 is then positioned on the beam 120 approximately at the position corresponding to device under test according to the number and position of the device under test. The tunable stage 140 is then attached to the second slide base 142 closely and secured on the beam 120 by the bolt 144.

After the probe card 192 is inserted into the slot 194 of the tunable stage 140 and secured by the bolt 196, users can approximately adjust the position of the first slide base 118 on the slide 116 to adjust the position of the probe card 192 along y-axis according to the position of the device under test. The bolt 144 is then unscrewed and the position of the probe card 192 along x-axis is approximately adjusted by moving the second slide base 142 supporting the tunable stage 140. Finally, the first adjusting module 150, the second adjusting module 160 and the third adjusting module 170 of the tunable stage 140 are used to finely adjust the relative position so that the probe card 192 can probe the device under test correctly.

Compared with the prior art, the present probing apparatus 100 can position several probe cards 192 on individual tunable stage 140, respectively. The user can adjust the position of the probe card 192 along x-axis, y-axis and z-axis according to the specification of the device under test freely. That is to say, the present invention actually implements multi-dies testing and shortens the testing time of the device effectively. In addition, the angular adjusting module 180 of the present invention can adjust the relative angle between the probe card 192 and the device under test, which further provides more adjusting flexibility for users to apply the probe card 192 to probe the electrical property of the integrated circuit devices with different specifications.

The above-described embodiments of the present invention are intended to be illustrative only. Numerous alternative embodiments may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7154284 *Jan 6, 2005Dec 26, 2006Mjc Probe IncorporationIntegrated circuit probe card
US7741861 *Mar 29, 2007Jun 22, 2010Multitest Elektronische Systeme GmbhTest apparatus for the testing of electronic components
US8134377 *Jul 25, 2008Mar 13, 2012Lecroy CorporationAdherable holder and locater tool
US8354856 *Aug 11, 2009Jan 15, 2013Celadon Systems, Inc.Replaceable probe apparatus for probing semiconductor wafer
US8421488Nov 8, 2011Apr 16, 2013Teledyne Lecroy, Inc.Adherable holder and locater tool
US8786299Apr 15, 2013Jul 22, 2014Teledyne Lecroy, Inc.Adherable holder and locater tool
WO2007115698A1 *Mar 29, 2007Oct 18, 2007Multitest Elektronische SystTest apparatus for testing electronic components
Classifications
U.S. Classification324/750.19, 324/750.22, 324/762.03
International ClassificationG01R1/02, G01R31/28, G01R31/02, G01R1/06
Cooperative ClassificationG01R31/2891
European ClassificationG01R31/28G5D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 15, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: STAR TECHNOLOGIES INC., TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LOU, CHOON-LEONG;HSU, MEI-SHU;REEL/FRAME:016281/0855;SIGNING DATES FROM 20041231 TO 20050103