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Reed Relays for Semiconductor Testing

Once a semiconductor wafer is fabricated, but before it is ‘sliced and diced’ into the dies that will be packed into components, it is subjected to wafer probe testing. The tests are performed by wafer probing machines, a type of automatic testing equipment (ATE) that is used to verify the functionality of the individual dies, be they relatively simple structures such as diodes and transistors or more complex integrated circuits such as processors, microcontrollers, memory, and analog to digital converters.

The probes are moved around the wafer to connect with pads on the surface of the individual die and to apply test conditions (voltages, currents, or waveforms, for example) that the ATE supplies and to measure voltage levels, current flow, output waveforms, for example that the ATE needs to record.

Semiconductor test methods include DC parametric testing (at different levels of current and voltage) and AC parametric testing (at different frequencies) – both to ensure the device meets the required specifications – and functional testing to ensure that it operates as intended. For power semiconductor devices it is necessary to apply and record high voltages and for high frequency / radio frequency (HF/RF) devices it is necessary to apply and record appropriate waveforms.


Above, an example of a testing configuration.

All of this means the ATE must be capable of applying a variety of test conditions. However, the probe station may have only a few probes (just two is fairly standard), so the ATE needs to be able to switch between multiple test conditions and channel the test results into the appropriate signal conditioning circuitry. And this is where reed relays, as controllable switching devices, prove invaluable – and for five reasons… 

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Download the full guide now to learn more about utilizing reed relays in semiconductor applications, including our top five reasons reed relays are ideal.

Contents of the application guide:

  • Semiconductor Testing
  • 5 Reasons Why Reed Relays are Ideal 
  • Recommended Products
  • Why Pickering Electronics for Reed Relays?
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5 Reasons Why Reed Relays are Ideal for Semiconductor Testing