SUSS MicroTec AG has installed its PM300WLR advanced 300 mm wafer-level reliability (WLR) test system at a leading Japanese manufacturer of semiconductor devices, where it will be used for testing the reliability of current and next-generation devices.

As the technology and design of semiconductor devices advance, the need to test their reliability and gauge their lifetime has become increasingly important. Common reliability tests, such as electromigration and time-dependent dielectric breakdown require the device under test (DUT) to be put under thermal and electrical stress over long periods of time to accelerate failure mechanisms. Before the PM300WLR, these measurements were carried out after the DUT had been packaged, a costly process that delays time to data and lengthens the device design cycle. By moving these tests to wafer level with the PM300WLR, reliability data is obtained sooner, and the device design cycle and thus time to market can be improved significantly.

The PM300WLR handles large, multi-site probe cards and its stable design withstands temperatures as high as 400°C for test times of several weeks. Built-in automated control systems manage the entire system during operation, from controlling the level of oxygen in the wafer chamber — critical for reliability test of copper interconnects — to regulating temperature control systems. In addition, a programmable 300 mm by 300 mm microscope movement, contact monitoring systems and operator safety features make the PM300WLR an intelligent manual probe system, resulting in high throughput for device manufacturers.

“This installation of the PM300WLR shows the increasingly important role reliability test is playing in the device design process,” said Claus Dietrich, Test Systems Division Manager, SUSS MicroTec. “We expect that the PM300WLR and our other reliability test systems will be considered more often as the preferred solution for cost-effective, accurate reliability test.”