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MEMS test-in-tray in volume production

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Tray_Cassette_1Silicon Microstructures announces massively parallel testing of MEMS devices in production.  

Silicon Microstructures has introduced test-in-tray methods to break through the parallel testing bottleneck.  Pressure, temperature and calibration tests are performed on an array of 32 MEMS pressure sensor devices held in a tray format.  An automated test-in-tray handler, supplied by Centipede Systems, provides rapid thermal conditioning over any computer controlled profile between -55⁰C and +150⁰C. Independently controlled pressure ports allow dynamic leak testing over the full range of temperatures and pressures for effective screening of latent defects.

“Calibration and testing of SMI pressure sensors over a full combination of pressures and temperatures allows us to provide sensors with better accuracy and reliability to our customers,” states Mr. Rainer Cholewa, President and CEO of SMI.  “I am delighted with the inherent efficiency of test-in-tray processing so that we can supply high quality sensors to our customers cost-effectively.”

“The test-in-tray format greatly simplifies handling and thermal management of MEMS devices under test,” says Dr. Tom Di Stefano, President of Centipede Systems. “A full tray of devices is indexed into the test position, where a mini-chamber encloses the tray of devices in a thermally controlled environment.  The temperature and pressure stimuli are computer controlled to test and calibrate the parts rapidly through any combination of test conditions.”  Di Stefano adds, “The test-in-tray format allows unlimited parallelism for added productivity in the future.”

Accurate testing of pressure sensors is complicated by thermally induced interactions and leaks. Testing a tray of devices in a mini-chamber facilitates the testing process. “Testing in a tray format doubled our throughput and reduced direct labor by a factor of five,” claims Mr. Holger Doering, COO at SMI.  “Only the mini-chamber must be heated and cooled during the test, greatly speeding up the process of thermal testing. Also, because thermal, electrical and pressure connections is faster and more reliable when done in the tray format, the process is more easily automated.”

Di Stefano claims “SMI is a leader in adopting test-in-tray for MEMS testing, and I am pleased with cooperation between our companies in introducing test-in-tray methods into production.” He further asserts, “The test-in-tray paradigm offers a solution to the parallelism bottleneck and provides a standard handling format for automation of the semiconductor entire back end process.”

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