Photonics Dictionary

probe card

A probe card is a testing device used in the semiconductor manufacturing industry to evaluate and test the electrical characteristics of integrated circuits (ICs) on a wafer. Its primary function is to establish electrical connections between the testing equipment and the individual circuits on the semiconductor wafer for the purpose of functional testing, parametric testing, and final verification.

Key features and components of a probe card include:

Probe needles or probes: The probe card is equipped with tiny, spring-loaded metal needles or probes. These probes make contact with the bonding pads on the surface of the semiconductor wafer.

Interconnect structure: The probes are connected to the testing equipment through a complex interconnect structure within the probe card. This structure allows for the transmission of signals between the testing equipment and the individual ICs on the wafer.

Flexible or spring mechanism: The probes are often mounted on a flexible or spring mechanism, allowing them to adjust to the variations in height across the wafer surface. This ensures that reliable and consistent contact is made with each IC during the testing process.

Probe cards are essential for the semiconductor testing phase, allowing manufacturers to identify faulty or substandard ICs before they are integrated into final products. Efficient and accurate testing is crucial for maintaining high-quality standards in semiconductor production.
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