Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Cascade Microtech Partners with imec for 3D-TSV Probe Solutions


Cascade Microtech, Inc., a leading expert at enabling precision measurements of integrated circuits at the wafer level, and the nanoelectronics research center imec, today announced they have entered into a collaborative research partnership for testing and characterization of 3D IC test structures. Imec will work closely with Cascade Microtech to develop test methods and methodologies for emerging 3D Through-Silicon-Via (TSV) structures, and to lead the way in development of global standards for 3D IC development and production test.

Cascade Microtech Partners with imec for 3D-TSV Probe Solutions

Beaverton, OR | Posted on March 7th, 2011

Demand for tablet PCs and smartphones is driving processor vendors to utilize 3D-TSV techniques to stack memory on processors, achieving higher performance without the need for node shrinks. 3D-TSV stacked ICs, still an emerging technology, allow multiple chips to be stacked and integrated into a single package, reducing the form factor, reducing power consumption and increasing the bandwidth of inter-chip communication by eliminating connections through the circuit board. Chip stacking with 3D-TSV interconnects requires Known-Good Die (KGD) wafer probing with high test coverage before stacking in order to achieve practical stack yields. The high density of TSV interconnects has challenged conventional probe card architectures thus limiting electrical test access.

The complexities of test inherent in new 3D-TSV IC designs will be a key focus of the research project that will take place at imec's research facilities in Belgium, where silicon wafers with test probe structures of 40 micron pitch and smaller will be manufactured and tested. In the process of ongoing research, imec will install the first turnkey 3D test solution comprising of a 3D-TSV probe station and a new 3D-TSV probe card from Cascade Microtech. The probe station and probe cards will be used to characterize the TSV in the chip stacks as part of ongoing efforts to optimize 3D stacked IC performance and reliability.

"The complexity of the 3D-system supply chain is reflected in the partner portfolio of imec's 3D research program where leading IDMs, foundries, fabless companies, OSATs, equipment and material suppliers as well as EDA companies partner to develop and improve 3D technologies. A good alignment of these multi-disciplinary forces is required to make 3D system integration an industrial reality," said Erik Jan Marinissen, imec Principal Scientist. "The collaboration with Cascade Microtech in this early phase of engineering and development will enable us to identify challenges and provide solutions for test issues that are specific for 3D integrated systems. Enabling probing solutions for high-density interfaces, minimizing the impact of pre-bond testing on stacking yield and test access to buried layers are key challenges for testing 3D systems that we will address through this collaboration.

"Ongoing research is critical for Cascade Microtech's 3D-TSV solution path, and imec is a key collaboration partner for our development efforts, given its history of successful research collaboration, its superior research facilities, its commitment to the semiconductor industry and the expertise of its staff," said Michael Burger, President and CEO, Cascade Microtech, Inc. "In recent years, probing and test were viewed as a major barrier to 3D-TSV development and manufacturing. We are looking forward to breaking through the barrier, paving the way for our mutual customers to quickly achieve extremely cost-effective 3D-TSV test solutions."


About Cascade Microtech, Inc.
Cascade Microtech, Inc. ( is a worldwide leader in the precise electrical and mechanical measurement and test of integrated circuits (ICs) and other small structures. For technology businesses and scientific institutions that need to evaluate small structures, Cascade Microtech delivers access to electrical data from wafers, ICs, IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMS, 3D TSV, LED devices and more. Cascade Microtech’s leading-edge semiconductor production test products include unique probe cards and test sockets that reduce manufacturing costs of high-speed and high-density semiconductor chips.

About Imec

Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec ( is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1,750 people includes over 550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2009, imec's revenue (P&L) was 275 million euro.

Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.).

For more information, please click here

Cascade Microtech, Inc.
2430 NW 206th Avenue
Beaverton, Oregon 97006, USA
Phone: 1-503-601-1000
Fax: 1-503-601-1002

Laurie A. Winton
Cascade Microtech, Inc.
P: (503) 601-1934
E: laurie.winton[.]

Copyright © Cascade Microtech, Inc.

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

The quantum sniffer dog: A laser and detector in 1: A microscopic sensor has been developed at TU Wien, which can be used to identify different gases simultaneously October 25th, 2016

Hybrid nanostructures hold hydrogen well: Rice University scientists say boron nitride-graphene hybrid may be right for next-gen green cars October 25th, 2016

When quantum scale affects the way atoms emit and absorb particles of light: Exact simulation lifts the 80-year-old mystery of the degree to which atoms can be dressed with photons October 24th, 2016

Nanoantenna lighting-rod effect produces fast optical switches October 24th, 2016

Chip Technology

Nanoantenna lighting-rod effect produces fast optical switches October 24th, 2016

Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics October 22nd, 2016

Scientists find technique to improve carbon superlattices for quantum electronic devices: In a paradigm shift from conventional electronic devices, exploiting the quantum properties of superlattices holds the promise of developing new technologies October 20th, 2016

Exploring defects in nanoscale devices for possible quantum computing applications October 19th, 2016

Memory Technology

Making the switch, this time with an insulator: Colorado State University physicists, joining the fundamental pursuit of using electron spins to store and manipulate information, have demonstrated a new approach to doing so, which could prove useful in the application of low-powe September 2nd, 2016

Diamonds and quantum information processing on the nano scale August 31st, 2016

Magnetic atoms arranged in neat rows: FAU physicists enable one-dimensional atom chains to grow August 5th, 2016

New metamaterials can change properties with a flick of a light-switch: Material can lead to new optical devices August 3rd, 2016


The quantum sniffer dog: A laser and detector in 1: A microscopic sensor has been developed at TU Wien, which can be used to identify different gases simultaneously October 25th, 2016

Hybrid nanostructures hold hydrogen well: Rice University scientists say boron nitride-graphene hybrid may be right for next-gen green cars October 25th, 2016

New nanomedicine approach aims to improve HIV drug therapies October 24th, 2016

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries: Novel technique may lead to longer battery life in portable electronics and electrical vehicles October 24th, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Enterprise In Space Partners with Sketchfab and 3D Hubs for NewSpace Education October 13th, 2016

Arrowhead and Spring Bank Announce Clinical Collaboration for ARC-520 and SB 9200 in Chronic Hepatitis B October 6th, 2016

STMicroelectronics’ Semiconductor Chips Contribute to Connected Toothbrush from Oral-B That Sees What You Don’t: Microcontroller and Accelerometer help brushers clean their teeth more effectively October 4th, 2016

Leti to Tackle Tomorrow's Research Strategies with Stanford University’s SystemX Alliance: French R&D Center Is the First Research Institute to Join the Collaboration and Provides Bridges Between Academia and Industry, Leveraging Alliance’s Potential October 4th, 2016

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project