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Cascade Announces Complete Engineering and Production Probing Solutions

June 17, 2009
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Cascade Microtech Inc. announced the release of two products that streamline engineering and production testing of high-bandwidth, short-range RFIC devices for WirelessHD™, automotive radar and other 60 GHz wireless applications. Using a combination of Cascade Microtech's proprietary thin-film technology and coaxial probe technology from its industry-leading Infinity Probe® architecture, the 110 GHz Unity-MW millimeter-wave RFIC engineering probe provides the cost-effective answer to the challenges of precision characterization and testing of these multiple-port emerging technologies. Utilizing the same membrane technology, the Pyramid-MW 81 GHz production probe card provides a robust production solution to shipping at-speed Known-Good-Die (KGD) in high volume.


According to ABI Research, one million wireless high-definition TVs will be installed worldwide by 2012, with double-digit growth rates. Strategy Analytics reports that over 2.3 million cars will be equipped with collision avoidance radar systems by 2011, requiring over 30 million radar sensors. "Automotive radar and wireless multimedia applications will continue over the next two years to move from their embryonic stage into higher volume growth applications," said Geoff Wild, CEO, Cascade Microtech Inc. "Cascade Microtech is unique in that it has a 25-year history of helping customers to precisely characterize and validate device functionality at both engineering and production test. In order to achieve widespread deployment of CMOS-based mmW RFICs in consumer applications at 80 GHz and beyond, it requires a knowledgeable leader in very high-frequency high-volume probing."

Cascade Microtech introduced its two newest engineering and production test solutions on Agilent Avenue at the International Microwave Symposium June 8-10 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. "This announcement affirms our combined commitment to provide exceptional solutions to millimeter-wave RFIC customers," said Gregg Peters, vice president and general manager of Agilent Technologies' Components Test Division. "Agilent recognizes Cascade Microtech as a key global channel partner. Innovative end-to-end solutions that speed the design and testing of Wireless HD devices are a direct result of ongoing collaborations between Agilent and Cascade Microtech."

With 25 contacts per quadrant, the durable multi-contact Unity-MW probe provides the capability to conveniently connect up to four 110 GHz RF signals per quadrant for the most comprehensive and consistent testing of phased arrays. Utilizing the production-proven Pyramid Probe® photo-lithographically defined tip technology, Pyramid-MW is the industry's only dedicated 81 GHz probe card delivering repeatable, reliable measurements that ensure high-yield KGD can be shipped. Both the Unity-MW and the Pyramid-MW help lower the cost of test with their robust, low-maintenance and documented probe tip cleaning regimes.

With Cascade Microtech's unique Web-based Unity-MW design capture tool and streamlined manufacturing process, customers can submit required configurations for delivery in one week, starting September 1, 2009. To ensure faster time-to-market, Unity-MW probes and Pyramid-MW probe cards are designed from a common database ensuring an efficient transition from engineering lab to volume production. For customers purchasing the Unity-MW, the non-recurring engineering (NRE) charges for developing a Pyramid-MW will be waived on the first Pyramid-MW order.

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