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4 June 2014

Agilent and Cascade ally to streamline wafer-level RF measurements

Agilent Technologies Inc of Santa Clara, CA, USA and Cascade Microtech Inc of Beaverton, OR, USA have announced a strategic alliance to provide fully configured and validated RF measurement solutions that streamline wafer-level semiconductor measurements while delivering guaranteed configuration, installation and support.

“Agilent and Cascade Microtech are the worldwide leaders in test & measurement and on-wafer probing, offering both the expertise and products to provide all the building blocks for wafer-level device testing,” claims Gregg Peters, VP & general manager of Agilent’s Component Test Division. “By aligning our efforts and respective solutions, we are pioneering a new model for the delivery of uniquely differentiated wafer-level measurement solutions to our mutual semiconductor customers.”

Specifying and configuring a wafer-level RF measurement system can be challenging and time-consuming, often requiring equipment to be sourced from multiple suppliers and then configured and verified on-site by the customer, says Agilent. The time to first measurement can hence be long. Wafer-level measurement solutions (WMS) from Agilent and Cascade now provide the equipment needed to perform accurate and repeatable DC and RF measurements, device characterization and modeling, while realizing significant time savings to first measurement, it is claimed.

“Semiconductor process development, modeling and characterization tasks are evolving, time-to-market cycles are shrinking, and the need for greater accuracy is increasing,” says Cascade Microtech’s president & CEO Michael Burger. “By working with Agilent to provide guaranteed wafer-level measurement solutions, we can now provide semiconductor engineers the tools they need to perform accurate and fast advanced DC and RF measurements on both components and devices to get their products to market on time,” he adds.

The new wafer-level measurement solutions combine Cascade’s wafer probe stations, probes and calibration tools with Agilent’s test instrumentation and measurement and analysis software. Each solution configuration is pre-validated to ensure it meets customers’ specific application needs, then validated again - based on previously agreed-upon acceptance criteria - after installation by Cascade Microtech. Guaranteed configuration means that any parts missing from the configured solution will be provided by either Agilent or Cascade Microtech, free of charge.

The firms have also collaborated to deliver unique workflow solutions software based on Agilent’s WaferPro-XP measurement software. Together with Cascade’s Velox probe station software, users can now develop complete wafer test suites for a variety of measurement needs (e.g. S-parameters, DC-IV/CV, noise figure, Flicker noise, and gain compression). This combination of software provides a coherent environment for test development, say the firms.

Each wafer-level measurement solution is backed by the offer of a full support package, with access to regional solution experts skilled in on-wafer test and measurement. Cascade acts as the single point of contact to ensure quick problem resolution.

Agilent and Cascade wafer-level RF measurement solutions are now available in a range of configurations, from a fully integrated new solution with either a semi-automated or manual prober, to application-specific hardware upgrades to existing probe stations. Agilent’s new WaferPro-XP measurement software platform for R&D device characterization can also be added to an existing wafer-level measurement solution. Pricing depends on solution configuration.

Tags: Agilent Cascade Microtech

Visit: www.agilent.com/find/wms

Visit: www.cascademicrotech.com/measureone

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