Keithley to supply parametric test systems to X-FAB

September 25, 2014. Keithley Instruments Inc. today announced it had received orders for additional S530 parametric test systems from X-FAB Silicon Foundries. X-FAB, a Germany-based foundry for analog/mixed-signal devices and micro electromechanical systems (MEMS), ordered low-power versions of the S530 tester for installation on the main production line at its facility in Kuching, Malaysia, where high-voltage S530 systems are already in place.

Dr. Manfred Riemer, the chief operating officer at X-FAB, said, “The strategic cooperation and excellent support our management teams have enjoyed through working with Keithley personnel made the decision an easy one. The compatibility of the S530 systems with X-FAB’s manufacturing automation systems and the high correlation with our existing test equipment have been excellent.”

Steffen Richter, X-FAB’s group manager for process control monitoring, will present a paper on the joint X-FAB/Keithley effort involving the initial S530 correlation and speed optimization project at the 16th European Manufacturing Test Conference (EMTC), to be held during SEMICON Europa 2014 in Grenoble, France, October 7–9, 2014. The paper, “Optimizing Automatic Parametric Test (APT) in Mixed Signal/MEMS Foundry,” is co-authored with Alex Pronin, Ph.D., a lead applications engineer at Keithley.

In announcing the sale, Keithley general manager Mike Flaherty noted, “X-FAB has relied on Keithley parametric test systems for many years. Based on their experience with our S530 high voltage systems, X-FAB decided to add Keithley low power systems to their main production line.”

Flaherty continued, “Keithley’s personnel worked closely with the engineering teams to ensure the results correlated well with those from their existing testers. Our applications team converted thousands of lines of original test system code and then performed correlation tests, matching more than 1200 parameters to within 3% of the original vendor’s data.”

Keithley S530 parametric test systems provide a low cost of ownership, mainly for semiconductor fabs requiring high throughput testing across a broad mix of products or wherever wide application flexibility and fast test plan development are critical. The low-power (200-V) system configuration is typically used for standard CMOS, bipolar, MEMS, and other relatively low voltage semiconductor processes. The high-power (1-kV) version is optimized for the difficult breakdown and leakage tests that GaN, SiC, and Si LDMOS power devices demand.

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