Wireless Applications

Cascade Announces Probe Products for RFIC Manufacturing

June 10, 2009

The systems streamline engineering and production testing of high-bandwidth, short-range devices and meet the complex requirements of automotive radar and wireless HDTV.

BEAVERTON, OR /Marketwire/ -- Cascade Microtech Inc. announced the release of two products that streamline engineering and production testing of high-bandwidth, short-range RFIC devices for WirelessHD, automotive radar, and other 60-GHz wireless applications. Using a combination of Cascade Microtech's proprietary thin-film technology and coaxial probe technology from its industry-leading Infinity Probe architecture, the 110-GHz Unity-MW millimeter-wave RFIC engineering probe provides a cost-effective answer to the challenges of precision characterization and testing of these multiple-port emerging technologies. Using the same membrane technology, the Pyramid-MW 81-GHz production probe card provides a robust production solution to shipping at-speed known-good-die (KGD) in high volume.

According to ABI Research, 1 million wireless high-definition TVs will be installed worldwide by 2012, with double-digit growth rates. Strategy Analytics reports that over 2.3 million cars will be equipped with collision-avoidance radar systems by 2011, requiring over 30 million radar sensors. "Automotive radar and wireless multimedia applications will continue over the next two years to move from their embryonic stage into higher volume growth applications," says Geoff Wild, CEO, Cascade Microtech, Inc. "Cascade Microtech is unique in that it has a 25-year history of helping customers to precisely characterize and validate device functionality at both engineering and production test. To achieve widespread deployment of CMOS-based mmW RFICs in consumer applications at 80 GHz and beyond, it requires a knowledgeable leader in very high-frequency high-volume probing."

Cascade Microtech will debut its two newest engineering and production test solutions on Agilent Avenue at the International Microwave Symposium June 8-10, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. "This announcement affirms our combined commitment to provide exceptional solutions to millimeter-wave RFIC customers," says Gregg Peters, Vice President and General Manager of Agilent Technologies' Components Test Division. "Agilent recognizes Cascade Microtech as a key global channel partner. Innovative end-to-end solutions that speed the design and testing of Wireless HD devices are a direct result of ongoing collaborations between Agilent and Cascade Microtech."

Visit Cascade Microtech experts at Agilent Avenue during the MTT-S conference in Boston, booth 1307, for a personal introduction to a more comprehensive approach to 60–80 GHz RFIC probing.

About Unity-MW and Pyramid-MW
With 25 contacts per quadrant, the durable multi-contact Unity-MW probe provides the capability to conveniently connect up to four 110-GHz RF signals per quadrant for the most comprehensive and consistent testing of phased arrays. Using the production-proven Pyramid Probe photo-lithographically defined tip technology, Pyramid-MW is the "industry's only dedicated 81-GHz probe card delivering repeatable, reliable measurements that ensure high-yield KGD can be shipped." Both the Unity-MW and the Pyramid-MW help lower the cost of test with their robust, low-maintenance, and documented probe-tip cleaning regimes.

With Cascade Microtech's unique Web-based Unity-MW design capture tool and streamlined manufacturing process, customers can submit required configurations for delivery in one week, starting September 1. To ensure faster time-to-market, Unity-MW probes and Pyramid-MW probe cards are designed from a common database, ensuring an efficient transition from engineering lab to volume production. For customers purchasing the Unity-MW, the nonrecurring engineering charges for developing a Pyramid-MW will be waived on the first Pyramid-MW order.

About Cascade Microtech
Cascade Microtech Inc. is a worldwide leader in the precise electrical 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, and extraction of, electrical data from wafers, ICs, IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMS, biological structures, electro-optic devices, and more. Cascade Microtech's leading-edge semiconductor production test consumables include unique probe cards and test sockets that reduce manufacturing costs of high-speed and high-density semiconductor chips.

Cascade Microtech, Infinity Probe, and Pyramid Probe are registered trademarks, and Unity Probe is a trademark of Cascade Microtech Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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