Industry Overview

12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) 11
Decide with Confidence EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION Integrated circuit (“Ie”) manufacrudng processes are achieving smaller geomt·tries, faster speeds and lower operational \-oltagcs. By taking clecrrical measurements of the dc,”icc under tcst, the physic~l proper6es of the manufacturing process can be extracted and analysed. These measurement results can then be used to uetermine if the test devices acc physically as they were designed and how the process parameters compare to target values. It is much simpler to extract the physical parameters from electrical measurements than to make “ctwd phy~ical measurements M the small geometries of a modern Ie process. This is \\!here the test probe industry comes into play in the sClniconductor \raluc chain. The role of testing is to detect whether something went wrong. A good tcst process can weed out all the bad products before they reach the user. Another important function of testing is process diagnosis, which determines exactly what went wrong, and where the process needs to be altered. For example, the chip maker has (0 find out what went wrong with each faulty chip, be it in fabrication, design or testing itself. Testing also helps to quantify and identify the manufacturing defects so that they can be reduced and correspondingly, the yield increases. ·Ihe jield is crucial to the profitability of a chip maker since it Jercrmine~ how much revenue in the fonn of gooJ chips can be obtained from the manufacruring of the wafers. In :tddition. the yield, along with tht cycle urnes, determines the capacity of the fab. A defect is a physic:l.] anomaly ‘.vithin the chip, which can be caused by impurities such a~ dust or improper manufacturing pruccss<..:s. Defects can cause electrical failures 011 the chip and logical failures or faults. The basic principle behind testing is to increase (he confidence of the chip makers that the chip will meet its specifications listed in the dcyicc data sheet and will perform as designed in its end applications…\s the semiconductor manufacturing prncesscs are not perfect, the good chip needs to be sorted from the bad. Impurities and defects in materials, equipment malfunctions and human errors are the main causes of defects. Therefore, rhe testing procedures assist (() assure customer qu:tlity. Dun & BnH.h:trcel (D&B) ),lalaysia SJn Bhd C 2008 182 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence PRODUCT DEFINITION A semiconductor interconnect comprises two (2) components, the test probes and the tcst socker. The latter houses an array of test probes. A tcst socket is it contacting meclumism that interposes between the de”ice under rest and the load board. It is capable of aligning the deyicc under test to the load board. To aehie”e this, the semiconductot test socket incorporates a self­contained mechanism for compressing the device under test against the compliant intc.:rconnecrs. The tcst probe is the hean of the test cell as it links the uc\·ice under test ro the autom~HeJ testing equipment (“ATEn ). It is critical to the chip maker. Electrical rests verify that the: chips perform to specifiotion. There are (\Vo steps of this final test. Parametric tests check the general performance of the device or circuit and ensure that it meets certain input and output \<oltage, capacitance and current specifications. Functional teslS \’eri(,’ the specified function of the chip; logic chips are put through logic tcst, while memory chips go through test for data 5torage and rctrieyal capabilities. The basic principle behind testing involves binary patterns or test Ycetors being applied to the inputs of the circuits. The response of the circuit is compared ‘With the expected responsc. The circuit is considered good if the responses match. ObYiously, the quality of the teslcd circuit will depend on the thoroughness of the test veClOrs. Test probes can be divided into two (2) categories; the cantilever type (has a cantilever spring arm) and pogo pin type (has an internal spiral spring). In additjon, pogo pins incorporate a plunger. a barrel and a spring. A Kch-in test probe, which is cmegorised under the cantile\Tr type, consists of double probes antl is typically used for scnsitiYe resistance measurements m analogue I mixed applications. The basic electrical principle behind it is that two (2) independent electrical connections to the device lead can compensate for the parasitic resistances betwecn the device uncleI.’ test and the i\TE. 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d)
Decide with Confidence Figure 1: Types ofTesr Probes
GOVERNMENT LEGISLATIONS, INCENTIVES AND POLICIES Under the Factories and l\1achinery ,\cr, 1967, any cmployc(;~ in the factory exposed to a wet or dusty process, to noise, heM Of any poisonous, corrosive or other injurious substance \vhich is likcl~’ LO cause bodily injury to them, may be providetf \virh suitable and adequate personal protective clothing and appliances, Ther include goggles, glovts, leggings, caps, foot wear and protective ointment or lotion. Roth the foundations and floors of the [::tercry shall be of sufficient strength to sustain the loads for which they are d(,.’signed; and no foundation or nOn! shall be oYerloadtd, Test probe manufacturers arc also subjected TO the Occupational Safer~’ and Healrh ~\ct. 1994. This Act is enforced by the I\linistry of I Iuman Rc~ourccs under the Department of Occupational Safety and I Iealth. Under this Act, the employtr has a duty to protect the safety, health and welfare of “” his employees, The employer shall “Iso ensure that no worker shall be employed I’ll ~ny machine or in any process, being a machine..: or any process liable to cause bodily injUI;,’l unless he has been fully instructed as to the dangers likely to arise in connection therewith anu the precautions to be ObSC1TCd. The worker mU5{ recei\”c sufficictH instruction in work :H the machine or rroces~; or is under adequate :;upcorvision by a person who has knowledge ::lnd experience of the machIne or process. 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) 11
Decide with Confidence The European Union has enacted legislation to prohibit the use of lead in electronics manufacruring. In this region, China, Japan and South Karei’!. arc also phasing out the use of lead in manufacruring, and many global clen[onics manut:’lcturcrs are requiring their suppliers (Q certify that their companies’ producrs \vill ~upporr their lead-free initiatives. Lead is very poisonous and is recognised as one of the most significant environmental health threats to humans. The global elect.ronics industry has starred to move towards reducing the use of hazardous substances, before local or global regulations come into force. \\’ith the announcement of lead-free initiatives across se,+cral countries, the implementation ot Icad~frcc electronic packaging is gaining momentum globally. :\ ‘~asr number of back-end service providers arc trying to implement this, “,\lith each packaging technology being compatible \vith industry lead-free solders. This gives end users the flexibility to utilise and meet their needs. The manufacturing of tcst probes and Ie cirCLlit tcst sockets is promoted by the !\1alaysian Industrial Development AuthOlity. A company engaged in rhe manufacnlring of these products is considered a high technology company in t\lalaysia. In addition, a high technology compan~’ must ensure that the percentage of research and de,-elopment (“R&D”) expenditure to gross sales should be at least 1% on an annual basis. A company has three (3) years from its date of operation or commencement of busines::i to comply with this requirement. .\lso, scientific and technical staff haying degrees or diplomas with a minimum of fi,-e (5) years of experience ~hould comprise at least 7% of the company’s work force. Under the Ninth ?\hlaysia Plan 2006-1010, the go\’crnment will continue to promote the de\’elopmcnt of the electronics industry, of which the semiconductor industry is a part of, in “ie\v of its extensive linkages to the national econom~·. Besides attracting the multinational corponHions (“1’vlNCs”), the donlestic m:mUf:’lCf1..1rCrS \vill be encouraged LO focus on impf()\’ing the sophistication lcycl of their products, in terms of quality, functionality and desiWl. This is to facilitate the development of the relevant skill :o;cts and expertise, technology know-how and R&D capabilities to move the electronics industry further up the value chain. The R&D focus in the semiconductor industry is anticipated to cover fabrication, test and failure analysis, digital and analogue design of Ie and advanced microelectronics. Dun & Bradstrtt:t (O&B) ~lalaysja Sun BhdD 2008 185 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence l’nder the Third lndustrial Master Plan 2006-2020, the electronics industry is em-isaged to continue to gro\v and contribute significantly to industrial progrct’s and transformation. The ~fNCs will continue to assume a significant role in increasing the technology leye1 of the industry, in tandem with the global trend in miniaturisatiol1 and convergence of technologies in multifunctional product. Testing activities will be part of the deYelopmcnt of the entire semiconductor value chain, Towards rCIllising the objectives and targets set for the electronics industry, seven (7) strategic thrusts have been established and they are as follo\vs: • Strengthening and deepening the semiconductor industry;
• Deepening and widening the dC”c1opment of the information and communications technology industry;
• Tntensif)1ng R&D and design actiyitics;
• Promoting the application of new and emerging technologies;
• lntcgrating the inuustry into regional and g-Iobal supply chflin networks;
• Making anilable a sufficient suppl\” of highly skilled and innovative workforce; and
• Strengthening the institutional support for the development of the electronics indusrr\”.

INDUSTRY LINKAGES A semiconductor is a material with an electrical conductivity that is inrermediate between that of an insularor and a conductor. Semiconductors with predictable, reliable electronic properties arc necessary for mass production. The le,-d of chemical purity needed is extremely high as the presence of impurities even in very small propart-ions can han; large effects on the properties of materials. ~-\ high degree of crystalline perfection is also required, since f<luln; in the cn’st<ll structure can interfere with the semiconducting properties of the material. In the past, semiconductor manuf<lcturel”s or integrated device manufacturers (“lDf\1s”) used a business model ,”vhereby they owned and c()n(rollcd all the processes and c<.Juipmcnt in the vertical market segment required to design, develop, produce, tcst, package and ship devices to their customers. This model requires a large amount of capit<ll and human resources and hence, tends to f,,’our the large, well-established companies. 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence In recent ye~rs. a new model has emerged, for a number of reasons, which segments ::til these different opcc;:ttions among many companies along the value chain. This model is called the subcontract manufacruring model. rn this new model, there are hvo (2) main subdivisions, the design house that implements the Ie design part and (he foundry that docs the fabricarion, packaging and resting of the silicon. This model has a significallt shifr in expenses, with rhe design house ha\-ing tl significantly lower capital outlay expense than the foundry. This lower capital expenditure rnodd also fuelled a number of startup Ie design houses. Both are viable business models; however the subcontract manufacturing model has been growing at a faster rate than the 10M model. Broadly speaking, the semiconductor industr\’ can be segmented into four (4) main product categones: • t\’femory: :t\lemory chips sef\’e as temporary storehouties of data and pass information to and from thc brains of the computer devices;
• i\Iicroprocessors: They arc the centra] processing units that contain the ba::>ic logic to perform tasks;
• Commodit…. ICs: Sometimes called “standard chips”, they MC manufacrured in huge batches for routine processing purposes; and
• Complex system on a chip: It is essentially <1:11 about the creation of :::111 Ie \\rith an enur<: system’s capability on it. ’11e market revolves around [he growlng demand for consumer products that combine new features and lo\ver prices.

‘J’ypically, semiconductor manufacturing comprises the following steps: • Production of silicon wafers from vcry pure silicon ingots~
• Fabrication of les onto these silicon wafers;
• Assembly (packaging) of c,·ery Ie 011 the w”fet into a tll1lshed product/device; and
• Testing ~nd back-end processing of the finished product/device.

 

12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence The first two (2) stcps form the front-end side of semiconductor manufacturing and the bltcr two (2) steps constitute the back-end side of semiconductor manufacturing. The process of back-end testing involves four (4) components and they art as follows: • ATE -the equipment used to test the de\-iccs;
• Handlers -the equipment used to handle the devices while undergoing test::;;
• 1\hchinc \’ision inspection systems ~ captures the image of a deyicc under tcst, analyses the image. and then pro\’idcs information about th~ de\’icc; and
• Tcst probes -interconnects that connects the device under test to the tcst handler.

In the \’alue chain, the test probe manufacturers work closely with [he handler manufac(Urers, chip makers and semiconductor packaging and tcst companies so as to provide testing solutions to these parties. Collectively, the ATE manufacturers, tcst probe manufacturers. machine ,’ision inspection system manufacturers and hanJlcr manufacturers arc known as the rest equipment suppliers in the value chain. Dun & Br:uj:;tr~et (D&R) i\1<ilaysia Sun Bhu :Q :W08 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d)
Decide with Confidence Figure 2: Value Chain ofTesl Probe Suppliers
.\.olr: D()f1,d til/u ;lJdifll/r luI rqlliplJli’JIl J’t/Jplirrs
A modern ATE is a powerful computer operating under the control of a tcst program wrirren in a high level language. [!mvever, different ATEs differ in their capabilities and programming languages. A modcrn ..\ TE is designed to tcst one (I) of three (3) basic types of devices: analogue, digital or mixed signaL Once the de\’ICe under tcst has been mounted in the ,\TE, three (3) things are needed to conduct the tcst. These are rhe test program, the digital te:;r vectors and the analogue test wa\·eforms. ‘J he test program contain:; the sequence of instructions that an ~-\TE would follow to conduct testing. The test dara obtained from rhe .-\TEs serves three (3) purposes. First, it helps to accept or reject the device under rest. In addition, it provides useful information about the fabrication process. Lastly, it proyidcs information about design weaknesses. Failing tests cJuickly point ro faulty devices. Dun & Bradlirr~ct (D&B) “blay~ja ~dn BhJ t> 2008 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence The purpose of the handler is to act as an interface between the wniconductor and the .\TF il1 order to assess the functionality of the individual chips..\ high throughput rate, measurement accu[:lcy to the thousandth of a millim~[re, precision lemperature accuracy and the IMcsr in measurement technology arc all important factors. The handler aJl:’o communicah:s with the ATE, which is controlled by specific software. The machine yision inspection system Clpturcs the image of an object being manufactured. analyses the image, and then provides information about the object. J\.1achine Yisiol1 inspection systems identify products, inspect for defects, measure part dimensions, and instruct other cc)uipmco[ Like a robotic arm to take SOJllt: actions, all at up to hundreJs of pans per minute. In summary, a machint: \”ision system inyoh-cs the process of visually inspecting 3 component or assembly for defects and!or measurement criteria. For the back-end (asselnbty and tcst) of most 1C production facilities, tcst probes are a necessary link berween the handlers ~md the i\TE, in roday’s increasingly higher speed, higher input ! output count and finer lead pitch Ies. The test probe is a physical device usco to connect the electronic test equipmem to the de\”icc wldcr tcst. BARRIERS TO ENTRY The main barriers to entry for the tcst probe industry arc as follows: • SmaUer semiconductor geometries;
• Capital-intensive nature;
• Stringem requirements needed to be on approycd \-cndor list;
• Strong business relationships;
• Steep learning curve;
• Economies of scale; and
• High switching costs.

Dun & Br::ld:,trcct (D&B) ~lalapla ~ln Bhe! {~; 100R 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS The main critical succes::; factors for the tcst probe industry are as follows:
• Quality;
• Price;

• Time-to~market;
• Timc~t()-Yolumc;

• Time-ta-profit; and
• Sharing of tcst roadmap.

CHALLENGES The main chalkngcs for the test probe industry are as follows: • Product miniaturisation;
• Increasing lransistor density;
• Proliferation of Ie packages;
• Rising consumer expectations;
• Highly cyclical semiconductor industry; and
• Technological capabilities.

Dun & B[ad:-tr~er (D&R) .\blay:.:ia Sun BhJ li~ 2008 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d)
Decide with Confidence MARKET SHARE Basically the demand for test probes. (both the cantilever type and pogo pin type) is a function of the growth and expansion of the semiconductor indllstr~’ in :t-.1alaysia, particularly in the lnck-cnd activities. The demand or market size for canrilcycr type tCSt probes (uscu for [csling electronic r,,”sistors and les) is estimated at oround 3.7 million pieces in :\lal.ysia in 2006. This include< both domestically produced and imported cantilc\’cr type tcst probes. Based on the number of electronic transistors and les manufactured in i\lalaysia in 2006, domestically-produced cantile\’er type tcst probes accounted for 8% of the market while imported cantilc\”er [)PC tcst probes took up the remaining 92°/0 • Our of rhe 8°/u marker share held by domestic companies, JF Technology Bhd is estimated to account for a market shart’ of 6.9Q/ o while the balance of 1 ]l~’I) is manufactured by the other local companies. Figure 3: Market Share ofJF Technology Berhad Market Share Segmentation JF Ttchn\ llf)h~· Berhad lhhl”!” meral tabncaO()\l /-companies / / / I.I(J._”
iImports 92.0%
JOllm: Dc-R MnlqYIII
12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence On the other hand, the demand or market size for pogo pin type test probes is estimated at abom 19.2 million pieces in Tvfalaysia in 2006. I fence, the market for pogo pin type test probes is even much larger in r-.’lalaysia. Pugo pin type test probes arc useu in the testing of semiconductors. As pogo pin type test probes arc not manufactured in Malaysia, rhey :ue all imported from overseas. In terms of unit shipment, the demand or m:1rket size for test probes, both cantilever type and pogo pin type, is estimated to expand at a compound annual gruwth rate of7.5% during the period 2007-2011. The products of.If Technology Bhd are also indirectly exported out of the country. I[ence, the company caters to both the domestic <l.nd O\TrSCaS markets. This is achien~d through [he sales of test probes to the handler m~nufacturers, which arc original equipment manuf~cturers themsclYcs. In rCnlnl, the handler manufacrurcrs sell their handler machines (which have incorporated the test probes) to the semiconductor packaging and test companies, both locally ;mJ o\’crseas. .\ handler machine manuf~cturcd in .i\1ah\Ysi~ \voulJ be relath-dy cheaper compared to their counterparts manufactured in rhe western COUll tries. CONCLUSION Over the last decade, rapid strides have been made in electronic s~’stcms design and integration. Tn parallel. research in llano technology and quannllTI electronic::. is ilmicipMed to push digital circuit designs into new realms over the next ckcade. The continui.ng rapid a<h-ances in wafer fabrication and circuit technologies, as well as the changing llamre of the electronics market create big challenges for the test probe industry. ,\s long ~s there are new product designs, there wiU be a need for design validation testing. New proces~es and dC\Ticc structures ~Iso add !lt’W defect mechanisms that may require additional tests to detect. 12. SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (Cont’d) Decide•with Confidence The test probe industry will need to ewh’e to ~ccomm()d~te the m~11\’ trends ~ffecting Ie manufacturing tad::!)”. At the same time, (he cost of rest muse continue to decline ro ensure that the tcsts do not become the limiting economic facror in producing next-generation devices. It is imperative that the test probes adapt to the industry roadmap for reduced contact sizes and pitches, while ensuring reli~blc contacts “ithout thremening the structural integrity of the Ie contacts and underlying circuitry. Promising advances in tcst probing technology and techniques provide the reassurance that the test probe industry is rising to meet the emerging challenges. Going forward, new 7ld\-ancements in supcrconuucting materials have given risc 10 a Ill’W breed of products. Lsing marerinls such as gallium ::.rseniJc, silicon carbide, and no\v l:\’Cn gallium nitride, researchers hayc developed chips th<lt exceed silicon in both speed and voltage. This poses a new paradigm for the test probe manufacmrers.

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