Patents Assigned to Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20030022603
    Abstract: A reliable, inexpensive “back side” thinning process, capable of globally thinning an integrated circuit die to a target thickness of 10 microns, and maintaining a yield of at least 80%, for chip repair and/or failure analysis of the packaged die. The flip-chip packaged die is exposed at its backside and mounted on a lapping machine with the backside exposed. The thickness of the die is measured at at least five locations on the die. The lapping machine grinds the exposed surface of the die to a thickness somewhat greater than the target thickness. The exposed surface of the die is polished. The thickness of the die is again measured optically with high accuracy. Based on the thickness data collected, appropriate machine operating parameters for further grinding and polishing of the exposed surface are determined. Further grinding and polishing are performed. These steps are repeated until the target thickness is reached.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2001
    Publication date: January 30, 2003
    Applicant: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chun-Cheng Tsao, John Valliant
  • Publication number: 20030001095
    Abstract: A multi-charged particle beam tool for semiconductor wafer inspection or lithography includes an array of electron beam columns, each having its own electron or ion source. The objective lenses of the various electron beam columns, while each has its own pole piece, share a common single magnetic coil which generates a uniform magnetic field surrounding the entire array of electron beam columns. This advantageously improves the spacing between the beams while providing the superior optical properties of a strong magnetic objective lens. When used as an inspection tool, each column also has its own associated detector to detect secondary and back-scattered electrons from the wafer under inspection. In one version the gun lenses similarly have individual pole pieces for each column and share a common magnetic coil.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2001
    Publication date: January 2, 2003
    Applicant: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chiwoe Wayne Lo, Xinrong Jiang
  • Patent number: 6501288
    Abstract: Method and on chip circuitry for testing integrated circuits, for instance, flip chip integrated circuits. Provided on the integrated circuit in addition to the conventional circuitry is additional circuitry including a photosensitive element such as a photodiode, the output terminal of which is connected via a Schmidt trigger to the clock terminal of an on-chip flip-flop. The node of the integrated circuit to be tested, for instance, the output terminal of a logic gate, is connected to the D input terminal of the same flip-flop. Hence, light incident on the photosensitive element clocks the flip-flop, allowing sampling of the state of the output signal from the logic gate. Advantageously, the photodiode need not be a specially made structure but in one version is the conventional PN junction provided by, e.g., the drain of a standard CMOS transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth R. Wilsher
  • Patent number: 6496953
    Abstract: A method and apparata for correcting for pulse width timing error during testing of an integrated circuit are described. The method includes storing in a memory, associated with a selected terminal of an integrated circuit, event timing data pertaining to testing of the integrated circuit. Functional data is provided, pertaining to the testing, and it is determined if the functional data causes a state transition in the integrated circuit, the state transition causing a pulse. If a pulse is created, then the event timing data is adjusted, thereby to produce pulse width adjusted event timing. A test signal is then applied to the selected terminal of the integrated circuit, the test signal including pulse width adjusted event timing. A test program first loads scrambler and sequencer memories with a code representing event timing data and event type data for a number of events that are to occur during a test vector, as specified by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph C. Helland
  • Patent number: 6496261
    Abstract: Optical interferometery is used to probe an integrated circuit device under test (DUT). During each cycle of a repetitive electrical test pattern applied to the DUT a reference pulse is provided at a fixed time relative to the test pattern, and a probe pulse is provided at a time scanned through the test pattern in the manner of equivalent time sampling. The probe and reference light pulses are each split to provide at least a second probe pulse and a second reference pulse. One probe pulse and one reference pulse interact with the DUT at the same physical location, but at displaced times with respect to each other. The second probe pulse and the second reference pulse travel an optical delay path with length controlled to compensate for motions of the DUT. The probe pulses are recombined and detected to provide a probe interference signal. The reference pulses are recombined and detected to provide a reference interference signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth R. Wilsher, William K. Lo
  • Patent number: 6492797
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for calibrating tester timing accuracy during testing of integrated circuits. An ATE tester measures itself through reference blocks that have the same relevant dimensions as the integrated circuits to be tested. The number of reference blocks required is equal to the number of signal terminals on an integrated circuit to be tested being subject to timing calibration. A signal trace electrically connects a different signal terminal to a common reference terminal on each reference block. Each signal trace used should be closely matched both physically and electrically to the other signal traces used in the set of reference blocks, so that the electrical path length associated with each trace is nearly identical. To perform the timing calibration, the reference blocks may be mounted on a single fixture one at a time, or using multi-site fixtures, multiple reference blocks may be used in parallel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Howard M. Maassen, William A. Fritzsche, Thomas P. Ho, Joseph C. Helland
  • Patent number: 6462814
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for optically probing an electrical device while the device is operating under control of a tester of the kind that applies test vectors and that has a test head in which the device can be mounted. An optical probe system has a light delivery and imaging module that is configured to be docked to a test head and that has imaging optics and a fine scanner. An optical processing subsystem can generate an incoming beam of light to illuminate the device through an optical fiber to a fiber end in the module. The fiber end is mounted in a fixed position on the optical axis of the imaging optics, and the fiber end and imaging optics are mounted in a fixed position to the platform of the fine scanner. Operating the fine scanner moves the fiber end, the imaging optics, the optical axis, and the focal point as a rigid unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: William K. Lo
  • Publication number: 20020118032
    Abstract: A heating apparatus for heating a DUT is provided. The apparatus contains at least one DUT contact area adapted to be in contact with a single DUT and a plurality of discrete heating elements, such as surface mount resistors, in thermal communication with the DUT contact area. The apparatus also contains an enclosure enclosing the heating elements and a heat exchange fluid passage bounded by an outer surface of the heating elements and an inner surface of the enclosure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2001
    Publication date: August 29, 2002
    Applicant: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joe Norris, Ken Hackworth
  • Patent number: 6420888
    Abstract: A module (44) for a test system interfaces between (a) a tester mechanism (16 and 42) having tester contacts (152) for carrying test signals and (b) a device-side board (46) having device-side contacts (162) for connection to external leads of an electronic device (40) under test. The interface module contains a tester side body (50) having tester side openings (86) for being positioned opposite the tester-side contacts, a device-side body (52) having device-side openings (136) for being positioned opposite the device-side openings, and interface conductors (54) extending through the tester-side and device-side openings for connecting the tester contacts to the device-side contacts. The tester body is configured, typically as at least five wedge-shaped portions (68), in such a manner as to enable the electronic device under test to have an increased number of external leads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary W. Griffin, Myngoc T. Nguyen, Gary A. Wells, Carl R. Gore, John W. Joy, Chris A. Shmatovich
  • Patent number: 6410924
    Abstract: The resolution of a charged particle beam, such as a focused ion beam (FIB), is optimized by providing an energy filter in the ion beam stream. The energy filter permits ions having a desired energy range to pass while dispersing and filtering out any ions outside the desired energy range. By reducing the energy spread of the ion beam, the chromatic aberration of the ion beam is reduced. Consequently, the current density of the ion beam is increased. The energy filter may be, e.g., a Wien type filter that is optimized as an energy filter as opposed to a mass filter. For example, to achieve useful dispersion the energy filter may use a quadrupole structure between two magnetic pole pieces thereby producing a combined quadrupole electric field and dipole electric field within a magnetic field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Li Wang
  • Patent number: 6362486
    Abstract: A magnetic lens focuses a charged particle beam generated by an instrument to a very small spot for deriving characteristics of a sample. A magnetic flux pattern is created which provides improved high resolution. The lens includes a polepiece with an inner yoke, an outer yoke and a winding. A lens outer pole is secured to the outer yoke and includes a first surface having a first opening defined therein positioned such that the beam passes therethrough. A lens inner pole is secured to the inner yoke and includes a second surface having a second opening defined therein aligned with the first opening, but with a smaller inner diameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen W. Into
  • Patent number: 6344750
    Abstract: Defects in a patterned substrate are detected by inspection with a charged particle beam inspection tool which generates an image of a portion of the patterned substrate and compares the image with a reference in order to identify any defects in the patterned substrate. Parameters of the tool are optimized to improve image uniformity and contrast, particularly voltage contrast. Prior to imaging an area of the substrate, the tool charges an area surrounding the image area to eliminate or reduce the effects caused by asymmetrical charging in the surrounding area. The tool alternates between charging the surrounding area and imaging the image area to produce a plurality of images of the image area, which are then averaged. The result is a highly uniform image with improved contrast for accurate defect detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chiwoei Wayne Lo, Kenichi Kanai
  • Patent number: 6308317
    Abstract: An integrated circuit card is used with a terminal. The integrated circuit card includes a memory that stores an interpreter and an application that has a high level programming language format. A processor of the card is configured to use the interpreter to interpret the application for execution and to use a communicator of the card to communicate with the terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy J. Wilkinson, Scott B. Guthery, Ksheerabdhi Krishna, Michael A. Montgomery
  • Patent number: 6308270
    Abstract: A smart card for use in connection with execution of a software program by a computer includes a microcontroller configured by a program stored in a smart card memory to verify information received from the computer during execution of the software program. The microcontroller is further configured to cause a signal to be stored in the smart card memory which is indicative of whether execution of the software program is certified as valid based on results of verifying the received information. Methods of using the smart card are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott B. Guthery
  • Patent number: 6304093
    Abstract: A handler for a device under test (“DUT”) includes a rotating table which supports up to eight DUTs. The DUTs are held in place over openings in the table and separate heat exchangers contact the individual DUTs through the openings and conductively control the temperature of the DUTs. Six of the DUTs are in conditioning stations and are lifted off of the rotary table until they contact separate spring-loaded pads. One of the DUTs is in a test station and it is lifted off of the rotary table until it contacts a test head, at which point testing is performed. The temperature of each of the DUTs is controlled throughout the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Mark K. Hilmoe, Thomas P. Jones, Brian G. Annis, Mark F. Malinoski
  • Patent number: 6295384
    Abstract: Noise in digitized image data is reduced by providing an array of pixels for each of which a gray level has been determined. For each column of the array, a distribution of gray levels is derived, and a range of acceptable gray levels is set based on the distribution. For pixels with a gray level outside the range, the gray level is changed to reduce the influence of noise in the imaged data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen W. Into
  • Patent number: 6285963
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for measuring the time interval between a first event and a second event in a tester system. First and second time measurement circuits independently receive respective first and second events. The time measurement circuits each includes a coarse counter clocked by the master clock. The first coarse counter is activated by an initial event, and the first coarse counter stops counting upon activation of the first event. The second coarse counter is also activated by the initial event, and the second coarse counter stops counting upon activation of the second event. A first fine counter clocked by the master clock produces a count value representing the time interval between the first event and a first leading edge of the master clock. A second fine counter clocked by the master clock produces a count value representing the time interval between the second event and a second leading edge of the master clock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Burnell G. West
  • Patent number: 6279225
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods are provided for handling packaged integrated circuits (IC's), particularly for inserting packaged IC's in and removing packaged IC's from low-insertion-force (LIF) sockets. The apparatus includes a precisor having a chip precisor feature for receiving an IC package and a socket precisor feature for receiving a socket in a predetermined alignment relative to the chip precisor feature. One or more releasable chip retainers are provided, such as a vacuum nozzle for pulling the packaged IC into a seated position within the chip precisor feature and a pair of gripper fingers for holding the packaged IC within the chip precisor feature during extraction from a LIF socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffery Martin, Dave Searfoss, Raymond E. Zeune
  • Patent number: 6252222
    Abstract: A laser beam is used to probe an integrated circuit device under test. A single laser provides a single laser pulse which is divided into two pulses, both of which are incident upon the device under test. After the two pulses interact with the device under test, the two pulses are separated and detected by two photo detectors. The electrical signals output by the photo detectors are then subtracted, which cancels out any common mode noise induced on both pulses including noise due to mechanical vibration of the device under test and also any noise from the laser. The difference signal can be used to reproduce a time varying signal in the device under test.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven A. Kasapi, Chun-Cheng Tsao, Seema Somani
  • Patent number: 6252412
    Abstract: Defects in a patterned substrate are detected by positioning a charged-particle-beam optical column relative to a patterned substrate, the charged-particle imaging system having a field of view (FOV) with a substantially uniform resolution over the FOV; operating the charged-particle-beam optical column to acquire images over multiple subareas of the patterned substrate lying within the FOV by scanning a charged-particle beam over the patterned substrate while maintaining the charged-particle-beam optical column fixed relative to the patterned substrate; and comparing the acquired images to a reference to identify defects in the patterned substrate. The use of a large- FOV imaging system with substantially uniform resolution over the FOV allows acquisition of images over a wide area of the patterned substrate without requiring mechanical stage moves, thereby reducing the time overhead associated with mechanical stage moves. Multiple columns can be ganged together to further improve throughput.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher G. Talbot, Chiwoei Wayne Lo