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Probe cards

Inspection process of probe cards in wafer production

As wafers already completed the most important part of value creation with the manufacturing of the functional structures, damage during testing represents a significant economic loss. Furthermore, faulty probe cards can cause damage during wafer testing. Although such faulty probe cards can lead to a correct result of the functional test, they can cause unnoticed damage to a wafer rendering it unusable.

Using the µsprint hp-opc 3000 can shorten and/or specify repair cycles more clearly. This provides an important contribution to the reduction in operative costs when using probe cards.

Applied measurement system:

Process-capable capacity tool

The µsprint hp-opc 3000 system is responsible for ensuring that the wafers are in sound condition after testing, for reducing yield losses as well as for minimizing the time and number of complex maintenance cycles the probe cards are subjected to regularly.

µsprint hp-opc 3000 is a process-capable capacity tool. It can be integrated into process control systems via a SECS/GEM communication interface. The tool complies with all necessary and common standards required at front-end wafer test locations.

Measurement and analysis:

Probe Tip Geometry

High speed analysis of typical probe tip parameters, essential for the mechanical contact of the probe tip to the DUT:

  • major and minor diameter, height and co-planarity
  • area, orientation and latera position

It is possible, due to the impressive inspection speed, to countercheck the probe card condition against the srcub analysis from the wafer inspection within very short time or to qualify each single probe card for its condition every time before or after its utilization in the prober tool. The Load & Go characteristics of the new tool allow operators to check the condition of a probe card constantly - giving it back to operation or sending it for service or maintenance. Service and maintenance of probe cards become much more effective due to the fast and precise pre-location of defects. 

Products: µsprint hp-opc 3000, µsprint topographer



Probe Head Characteristics

The inspection of the entire probe head even over very large areas is an additional tool capability provided by the μsprint probe card inspection system. The analysis focuses on warp and tilt of the probe head while it also takes into account faulty conditions such as loose screws, cracks or other defects. In connection with the tip inspection capability this analysis is an important contribution when counterchecking the scrubs to the probing equipment conditions.

The probe head inspection capability also applies for probe cards employing air cushions for operation, being able to  detect damages and particles disturbing the airflow. The probe head inspection proved its ability on different materials as for example different types of ceramics and epoxy.

µsprint hp-opc 3000, µsprint topographer

Clearance Obstructions

Besides the complete tracing chain regarding the probe tip and probe head conditions, the tool enables the identification of probe card defects and obstructions which may damage or destroy devices or even complete wafers.

Such conditions can emerge from thermic effects, from faulty maintenance or simply from additional objects or adhesions occuring out of the probing process itself. The μsprint probe card inspection tool offers the possibility to check the clearance or overdrive area, respectively, regarding an absolute absence of particles or objects of any type.

Based on the short inspection cycles closed loops for the surveillance of critical probe card conditions can be realized. This is especially interesting for sites running large volumes where probe cards are in operation for longer durations.n proved its ability on different materials as for example different types of ceramics and epoxy. 

µsprint hp-opc 3000, µsprint topographer

Benefits at a glance

  • Fast feedback loop between scrub analysis and probe card condition
  • Reduced repair time by fast re-assessment of probe tip conditions
  • Constant surveilance of wear & tear, precise forcasting of EOL
  • Operational and maintenance related costs minizied
  • SEMI compliant tool, SECS/GEM standard Interface
  • Simple set up of automated operations

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Benjamin Oevermann
Phone:  +49 208 62000-61
Fax:  +49 208 62000-99

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