Agilent Introduces Lowest Cost Wafer Sort and Probe Test Solution

11/18/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced the industry's lowest-cost wafer-probe test solution to meet the increasing demands of today's semiconductor wafer manufacturers. A complete solution with 512 pins is now available for less than $600,000.

This system, the latest member of the Agilent 93000 SOC Series of scalable testers, takes advantage of the 93000's test processor-per-pin architecture and parallel multi-site testing capabilities to allow high-throughput sorting of good from bad die on wafers during high-volume production. Since the die are tested in parallel, the Agilent 93000 Parallel Probe 400 Solution offers the industry's lowest test cost per die -- less than 2 cents.

"The convergence of devices to deliver added functionality in consumer products is accompanied by greater complexity and severe cost pressures," said Tom Newsom, vice president and general manager of Agilent's SOC Business Unit. "The Agilent 93000 SOC Series' scalable platform architecture protects our customers' investment in test equipment while delivering additional cost savings through the industry's lowest-cost wafer-probe test solution."

Performance improvements and price pressures are forcing semiconductor manufacturers to change the way they conduct wafer-probe test. At the die level, a test methodology called reduced pin count (RPC) allows designers to reduce the number of pins required to test digital die at probe. RPC involves creating a scan bus or built-in self-test (BIST) bus that allows complete die testing without probing all the pads. This increases the number of die that can be tested in parallel and further drives down the test cost per die. Even with RPC, massive multi-site testing drives up the test-system pin count to 1,200 pins or more.

With the RPC methodology implementation, the Agilent 93000 Parallel Probe 400 solution permits testing as many as 32 die in parallel, with up to 2,048 pins per system, supporting the most demanding multi-site test requirements. This approach drastically reduces wafer-probe test times and is what lowers the test costs to less than 2 cents per die.

The system can apply test patterns to a depth of up to 48 megavectors (MV) at speeds up to 100 Mb/s. Each test pin can be upgraded to 96 MV per pin and data rates of 200 or 400 Mb/s, using per-pin software upgrades that can be performed instantaneously to adapt to changing test needs.

The low-cost probe test system architecture allows users to upgrade their system, thereby protecting their capital investment. Additional pins can be added to address higher levels of multi-site test and lower the cost of test. In addition, as a compatible member of the Agilent 93000 SOC Series, the low-cost probe test system can be upgraded with analog cards, high-speed digital pins, RF, and more to accommodate changing test requirements.

Pricing and Availability
The Agilent 93000 Parallel Probe 400 Solution with 512 pins starts at under $600,000 with volume purchases and can be upgraded to 2,048 pins. The system includes services and support. The probe test solution will be available in early 2005. More information about the Agilent 93000 Parallel Probe 400 solution is available at

About the Agilent 93000 SOC Series
The Agilent 93000 SOC Series is the industry's fastest-growing, lowest-cost single, scalable platform architecture with more than 800 installed systems worldwide. The Agilent 93000 SOC Series is designed to meet both the demanding performance and cost challenges of SOC testing. Models are configured to span the widest range of applications that may require ultra-high-speed digital data rates, up to 10 Gb/s, and the broadest range of mixed-signal and RF capabilities. With this range of capabilities, the 93000 SOC Series is the first choice for subcontract manufacturers and the preference for high-volume manufacturing. More information is available at

More information about Agilent's semiconductor test products is available at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2004. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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