ElectronicsMicro 3D printing

Exaddon’s 3D microprinting revolutionizes semiconductor testing

Pioneering sub-20 μm probe technology for enhanced efficiency and scalability in chip design

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Semiconductors are fundamental to modern life – powering our gadgets, transportation, and communication systems. They are crafted through a complex procedure, with probe testing playing a crucial role in ensuring the production of flawless dies for packaged components.

Exaddon's 3D microprinting revolutionizes semiconductor testing. Pioneering sub-20 μm probe technology for enhanced efficiency in chip design
An SEM image of 3D printed probes with an alternating 18.5 µm / 35.5 µm pitch.

However, the multi-billion dollar semiconductor industry faces challenges in maintaining the pace of innovation, particularly in achieving probe pitches below 40 μm. This limitation hinders chip design and scalability – significantly impacting areas like microLEDs. Despite the microLED market’s rapid growth (expected to reach tens of billions of dollars in the next five years), current testing methods, which involve testing LEDs individually with two-probe setups, are insufficient and lagging.

Exaddon, known globally among academic circles, is revolutionizing this sector thanks to a recently developed industrial application: 3D microprinting probes capable of fine-pitch probing at sub-20 μm. This technology is well-suited for creating intricate microscale structures with micrometer precision – utilizing μ3D printing to produce high-quality printed metal.

Exaddon's 3D microprinting revolutionizes semiconductor testing. Pioneering sub-20 μm probe technology for enhanced efficiency in chip design Exaddon’s innovation shines in its initial microLED test array, 3D printed directly onto pre-patterned traces with a pitch under 20 μm. This not only surpasses the current industry standard but also demonstrates Exaddon’s proficiency on micro PCBs – suitable for existing probe heads. With 128 probes, this array reportedly boosts testing efficiency by 64x compared to traditional methods.

The company’s process also streamlines probe manufacturing by printing directly onto customizable and replaceable space transformers – eliminating the need for multiple components and reducing complexity and costs.

The implications of Exaddon’s technology are significant. Finer pitch testing means more active die area, enhancing yield, and reducing chip and consumer device costs. The company’s template-free 3D printing process is highly adaptable – excelling in producing high aspect ratio, freestanding structures, and capable of contacting various pad, bump, and ball structures.

Exaddon’s μ3D printing technology, powered by local electrodeposition of pure metal, opens new horizons in sub-20 μm pitch probing and is a game-changing solution for any application requiring fine-pitch probing beyond current industry capabilities.

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Composites AM 2024

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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