RF Probe is optimized for tuner-based characterization.

Press Release Summary:

Featuring thin-film technology and high-current capability, RF Infinity probe ensures accurate and repeatable wafer-level RF measurements at higher current for characterization of linear power amplifiers and other RF power devices. Designed for power load-pull and noise parameter testing, it allows designers to model transistors under load conditions at up to 2 A, while maintaining low contact resistance (typically less than 0.05 W on aluminum pads).

Original Press Release:

Cascade Microtech Adds High-Current Model to Infinity Probe® Family

High-current RF Probe With Low Contact Resistance Enables Accurate On-wafer Characterization of RF Power Devices

BEAVERTON, Ore., Nov. 30 / - Cascade Microtech (NASDAQ:CSCD) is expanding its popular line of Infinity probes by adding a high-current model (rated two amperes) optimized for tuner-based characterization, power load-pull and noise parameter testing. The new high- current Infinity probe ensures accurate and repeatable wafer-level RF measurements at a higher current for characterization of linear power amplifiers and other RF power devices.

The rapid growth of wireless voice and data traffic has resulted in demand for more RF power devices in both handsets and wireless system infrastructure. The design of RF power devices and linear power amplifiers that use them requires measurements of gain, linearity, and efficiency under various load conditions to optimize circuit designs. During characterization, transistor performance is established by varying source and load impedance. Cascade Microtech's new high-current Infinity probe allows designers to model transistors under load conditions at up to 2 amperes, while maintaining low contact resistance (typically < 0.05 ohm on aluminum pads). Some applications where device measurements are made at higher power levels include

o Extraction of power transistor models
o Characterization of adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR),
intermodulation distortion, error-vector magnitude (EVM), or power-
added efficiencies
o Optimization of RF power transistors for handsets, built in gallium
arsenide (GaAs), silicon, or silicon-germanium (SiGe)
o Mismatch characterization of handset power amplifiers

"Unlike other conventional wafer-level probes that utilize a basic 20-year-old tip technology, Cascade Microtech's Infinity probes have a revolutionary tip design," said Larry Dangremond, RF product manager, Cascade Microtech. "The tip design, combined with the proprietary thin-film technology and the new high-current capability, equips Infinity probes to make RF measurements with the lowest and most stable contact resistance, essential for RF probing on silicon or copper used in today's RF and wireless devices."

The addition of this new high-current probe extends the Infinity probe line, known for its extremely low and stable contact resistance on aluminum, copper or gold pads. When Cascade Microtech first introduced the Infinity probe, it set a new standard in measurement accuracy as the only on-wafer probe to offer both high-frequency performance and low and stable contact resistance on aluminum pads, commonly used on silicon wafers.

The Infinity probe combines Cascade Microtech's proprietary thin-film technology with coaxial technology, making it equal or superior to all other probe technologies with respect to return loss, attenuation, and crosstalk specifications. The Infinity probe's outstanding performance on aluminum pads is achieved by optimizing the key probe factors that affect contact resistance: tip contact area, force applied, tip metallurgy and scrub (horizontal motion). The force delivery of the Infinity probe is such that only a small scrub is necessary to break through the aluminum oxide to make contact with the pad. This, coupled with the Infinity probe's non-oxidizing tips, ensures minimal pad damage and superior contact on silicon devices with pads as small as 25 microns x 25 microns.

With the addition of a high-current model to its line of Infinity probes, Cascade Microtech is again raising the bar for accuracy and repeatability in advanced device characterization and modeling.

Price and Availability

The new high-current Infinity probe is now available for order with delivery in approximately one week. Pricing for the high-current Infinity probe starts at U.S. $895.

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 who need to evaluate small structures, Cascade Microtech delivers access to, and extraction of, electrical data from wafers, integrated circuits (ICs), IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMS, biological structures, electro-optic devices and more. Cascade Microtech's highly reliable production wafer test solutions provide the semiconductor industry with leading-edge probe cards that reduce manufacturing costs of complex semiconductors. Information about Cascade Microtech can be found on the Web at cascademicrotech.com.

Source: Cascade Microtech, Inc.

+Junko Nakaya of Cascade Microtech, Inc.,

Web site: http://cascademicrotech.com/

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