The MPI Corporation (Taiwan) presents probe systems for monitoring devices on semiconductor wafers.
The MPI Corporation (Taiwan) presented at the SEMICON Europa 2017 exhibition probe systems for monitoring devices on semiconductor wafers. Although MPI has been operating in this market segment for only about three years, it is already well known in Russia, where it is represented by TBS. Stojan Kanev, General Manager of the Advanced Semiconductor Test division at MPI, told us about tendencies and new solutions in the field of probe measurements.
Mr. Kanev, what trends in the market of semiconductor devices affected the development of probe systems? An important trend is the development of microwave electronics, so we have developed the systems that allow testing devices with a frequency of up to 1 THz. As the sizes of the batches of microwave devices grow, in 2017 a new system for 200 mm wafers is presented. In the long term, we are ready to offer such features in the equipment for 300 mm wafers. Another challenge relates to the launch of the production of devices for 5G networks. In connection with this, there is a growing demand for automatic solutions for testing devices with antennas on wafers. In cooperation with Rohde & Schwarz, we have developed such a system, equipped with a robot for the necessary manipulation and a special software.
And, finally, the most important new development is the new version of the SENTIO system, which combined software for calibration and measurement control for all types of fully automatic and automated systems. What are the advantages of the new version of SENTIO? So far, different software systems have been used to calibrate and control the probe system, which were maintained and operated independently of each other. Of course, it was inconvenient for users of the equipment. We were the first in the world to combine calibration and control functions in one automated system. In doing so, we expanded the number of calibration methods for different applications. I would like to note that the calibration software comes with the equipment completely free of charge, and updates for previously released equipment are also provided free of charge, so that the latest developments in the field of control automation are available for all users of MPI systems. MPI has been working in the market of probe systems for only about three years, however, your equipment is used by the largest global companies in the semiconductor industry. What helped to achieve such success? Indeed, among our customers are GlobalFoundries, TSMC, STMicroelectronics, Micron, Panasonic, Imec and other leading manufacturers of micro- and nanoelectronics. Such companies choose the best solutions on the market, and in the field of probe systems for testing devices on semiconductor wafers, we are the technological leader. This was achieved through the implementation of a special approach to the development of equipment. We started from scratch, fundamentally refusing to copy anyone's solutions and therefore the shortcomings associated with them, but at the same time using 25 years of experience in creating and selling probe systems. We put emphasis on ease of operation of equipment, because if earlier operators, as a rule, had many years of experience, today the approach to personnel policy has changed, and often equipment is operated by amateurs. Our task was to create not only easy to control, but also safe systems that would minimize the risk of operator error. We were the first to use sensor multitouch screens in the probe systems and the automatic switching of vacuum. Intelligent control system with an intuitive interface makes it easy to set up the equipment. At the same time, our systems have a lower price than analogues from European competitors. I would like to emphasize that the customer-oriented approach is not a meaningless figure of speech for us, but one of the main principles of doing business. What innovations are planned for the near future? We continue to improve the automation of measurements, in particular, we plan to automate the adjustment of temperature conditions. And, as I have already said, in the 300 mm wafer systems it will be possible to work with microwave devices with a frequency of up to 1 THz.