Substantial Cost of Test Improvements with the New Multitest C3 Coating for Contact Probes
Multitest’s Interface Product Team once again demonstrated the significant influence of the contactor performance on the overall test cell cost of test. Replacing the probes in the existing contactor housing with new C3 coated Gemini probes reduced the overall cost of test per device to a fraction of the original amount.
A customer in Asia was experiencing a loss in test cell throughput due to excessive probe wear. This customer is testing a transmitter and a receiver operating in the 26 GHz frequency range. The devices are used in automotive anti-collision radar. Test temperatures range from ambient to +125°C. The customer’s test cell investment is over 1.4 M USD.
The original contact probes required cleaning every two hours. With each cleaning, the test cell was down for 20 minutes. The probes had an unacceptable life of 130 k insertions. All this led to an overall cost of test at 3 cents per device.
The expectation to the Multitest Interface Product Team was to improve average lifespan, to increase time between cleaning of sockets without sacrificing yield and finally to lower cost of test.
With the C3 coated tips of the Gemini probes Multitest increased the insertion life of the probes to more than 200 k insertions while reducing the contactor cleaning cycles. The measured result for the customer is an increase in test cell uptime and throughput, while test yields were held to a minimum of 99%. Our final measure of the customer’s success is the cost of test per device which was reduced to a fraction of the original one.
C3 coating will be released in early 2015. To learn more, please note the presentation about “C3 Coating: Solution for IC Testing“ at BiTS 2015 (http://www.bitsworkshop.org).