News Column

Patent Issued for Tester and Semiconductor Device Test Apparatus Having the Same

July 30, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Gyeonggi-Do, KR) has been issued patent number 8779792, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Kim, Byoungjoo (Hwaseong-si, KR); Hwang, Inseok (Hwaseong-si, KR); Kim, Jung-Woo (Busan, KR).

This patent was filed on July 23, 2010 and was published online on July 15, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Example embodiments relate to a tester and a semiconductor device test apparatus having the tester. Particularly, example embodiments relate to a tester for testing electrical properties of a semiconductor device and a semiconductor device test apparatus having the tester.

"Generally, a semiconductor manufacturing process includes a fabrication (FAB) process for forming a plurality of semiconductor devices, an electric die sorting (EDS) process for testing electrical properties of each of the semiconductor devices formed on a wafer. and the semiconductor manufacturing process may also include an assembly process for packaging the semiconductor devices to protect the devices from mechanical, chemical, and physical hazards after dividing the devices that have passed the EDS process.

"The EDS process may repair defective semiconductor devices and remove the semiconductor devices that cannot be repaired in early stages. Thereby, the EDS process reduces the time and costs for performing the assembly process and inspecting the packages and removing a defective cause by analyzing the defective cause of the semiconductor devices."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present disclosure provides a tester and a semiconductor device test apparatus having the tester, which can improve reliability of electrical property test of semiconductor devices.

"The object of the present invention is not limited to the aforesaid, but other objects not described herein will be clearly understood by those skilled in the art from descriptions below.

"Embodiments of the inventive concepts provide testers. The testers may include a tester head configured to transfer electric signals to a probe card. The tester may also include a leveling unit that is provided on the tester head. The leveling unit is configured to maintain a level state of the probe card by applying a load to the probe card.

"In some embodiments, the leveling unit may include a first supporting plate disposed above the probe card in the base at a desired or predetermined space. The tester may also have an elastic member provided between the first supporting plate and the probe card. The elastic member may be configured to apply an elastic restoring force to the probe card.

"In other embodiments, the elastic member may, be a spring having a first end supported by the first supporting plate and a second end supported by the probe card.

"In still other embodiment, the spring may be a coil spring of which central axis is vertically disposed.

"In even other embodiments, the elastic member may be an elastomer having a first end supported by the first supporting plate and a second end supported by the probe card.

"In yet other embodiments, the elastomer may be an elastic rubber having a hollow shape. The elastomer may have disposed such that a central axis thereof extends in a vertical direction.

"In further embodiments, the leveling unit may further include a second supporting plate disposed on a top surface of the probe card. The second supporting plate may be configured to support a lower end of the elastic member.

"In still further embodiments, the leveling unit may further include a guide member inserted in a hole in the first supporting plate. and The guide member may have a lower end that is coupled to the second supporting plate. The guide member may be configured to guide a vertical movement of the second supporting plate.

"In even further embodiments, the hole may be defined by a groove formed on an upper surface of the first supporting plate. The hole may be further defined by a through hole formed through a bottom surface of the groove. The guide member may include a body portion formed in a substantially rod shape and the guide member may be inserted into the through hole. A head portion of the guide member may be provided on an upper end of the body portion. The head portion of the guide member may have a larger sectional area than the through hole. and the guide member may have a coupling portion provided on a lower end of the body portion and screw-coupled to the second supporting plate.

"In yet further embodiments, the hole may be formed at a central portion of the first supporting plate. A plurality of the elastic members may be provided between the first and second supporting plates. The elastic members may be symmetrically arranged with reference to a central axis of the hole.

"In still yet further embodiments, the elastic member may be a spring having a first end supported by the first supporting plate. Also, the elastic member may have a second end supported by the second supporting plate.

"In still yet further embodiments, the elastic member may be an elastomer having a first end supported by the first supporting plate and a second end supported by the second supporting plate.

"In still further yet embodiments, opposing surfaces of the first and second supporting plates may be provided with grooves in which opposite ends of the elastic member are received.

"In still further yet embodiments, the second supporting plate may be provided to support a central region of the probe card.

"In other example embodiments, a leveling unit may include a first support plate provided above a probe card. The leveling unit may also have a second supporting plate provided below the first supporting plate and above the probe card. The leveling unit may include an elastic member provided between the first and the second supporting plates. The leveling unit is configured to control the elastic member to apply a load to the probe card to limit bending of the probe card.

"In another example embodiment, the leveling unit is configured to control the elastic member to apply the load in an opposite direction of a force causing bending of the probe card.

"In other embodiments of the inventive concept, semiconductor device test apparatus may include: a tester head configured to transfer electric signals to a probe card; a tester main body configured to input and output the electric signals to the test head; a substrate supporting unit, on which semiconductor devices for testing are provided and movable in the vertical direction toward the probe card such that electrode terminals of the semiconductor devices make contact with probes of the probe card; and a leveling unit provided on the tester head, the leveling unit configured to maintain a horizontality of the probe card by applying a load to the probe card.

"In some embodiments, the tester head may include a base having an opened lower end to which the probe card is coupled; and the leveling unit may include a first supporting plate provided above the probe card in the base, the second supporting plate provided below the first supporting plate and on a top surface of the probe card, and an elastic member provided between the first and second supporting plates and applying elastic restoring force to the probe card.

"In other embodiments, the leveling unit may further include a guide member provided in a hole in the first supporting plate, the guide member may have a lower end coupled to the second supporting plate, and the guide member configured to guide movement of the second supporting plate.

"In still other embodiments, the hole maybe formed at a central portion of the first supporting plate; and a plurality of the elastic members may be provided between the first and second supporting plates and the elastic members may be symmetrically arranged with reference to a central axis of the hole.

"According to the embodiments, the bending of the probe card is reduced, limited or prevented and thus the probes of the probe card can maintain a horizontal level state thereof.

"In addition, the contact between the probes of the probe card and the electrode terminals of the semiconductor devices can be reliably realized.

"Furthermore, the reliability of the electrical property inspection of the semiconductor devices can be improved."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Kim, Byoungjoo; Hwang, Inseok; Kim, Jung-Woo. Tester and Semiconductor Device Test Apparatus Having the Same. U.S. Patent Number 8779792, filed July 23, 2010, and published online on July 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8779792.PN.&OS=PN/8779792RS=PN/8779792

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Semiconductor.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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