Patents by Inventor Benjamin Eldridge

Benjamin Eldridge has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20080116927
    Abstract: Contact tip structures are fabricated on sacrificial substrates for subsequent joining to interconnection elements including composite interconnection elements, monolithic interconnection elements, tungsten needles of probe cards, contact bumps of membrane probes, and the like. The spatial relationship between the tip structures can lithographically be defined to very close tolerances. The metallurgy of the tip structures is independent of that of the interconnection element to which they are attached, by brazing, plating or the like. The contact tip structures are readily provided with topological (small, precise, projecting, non-planar) contact features, such as in the form of truncated pyramids, to optimize electrical pressure connections subsequently being made to terminals of electronic components. Elongate contact tip structures, adapted in use to function as spring contact elements without the necessity of being joined to resilient contact elements are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2008
    Publication date: May 22, 2008
    Applicant: FormFactor, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Dozier, Benjamin Eldridge, Igor Khandros, Gaetan Mathieu, Sheldon Taylor
  • Publication number: 20080094088
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a method and system compensating for thermally induced motion of probe cards used in testing die on a wafer. A probe card incorporating temperature control devices to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the thickness of the probe card is disclosed. A probe card incorporating bi-material stiffening elements which respond to changes in temperature in such a way as to counteract thermally induced motion of the probe card is disclosed including rolling elements, slots and lubrication. Various means for allowing radial expansion of a probe card to prevent thermally induced motion of the probe card are also disclosed. A method for detecting thermally induced movement of the probe card and moving the wafer to compensate is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Publication date: April 24, 2008
    Inventors: Benjamin Eldridge, Gary Grube, Ken Matsubayashi, Richard Larder, Makarand Shinde, Gaetan Mathieu
  • Publication number: 20080048688
    Abstract: A planarizer for a probe card assembly. A planarizer includes a first control member extending from a substrate in a probe card assembly. The first control member extends through at least one substrate in the probe card assembly and is accessible from an exposed side of an exterior substrate in the probe card assembly. Actuating the first control member causes a deflection of the substrate connected to the first control member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2007
    Publication date: February 28, 2008
    Inventors: Gaetan Mathieu, Benjamin Eldridge, Gary Grube
  • Publication number: 20080042668
    Abstract: A probe card assembly can include a probe head assembly having probes for contacting an electronic device to be tested. The probe head assembly can be electrically connected to a wiring substrate and mechanically attached to a stiffener plate. The wiring substrate can provide electrical connections to a testing apparatus, and the stiffener plate can provide structure for attaching the probe card assembly to the testing apparatus. The stiffener plate can have a greater mechanical strength than the wiring substrate and can be less susceptible to thermally induced movement than the wiring substrate. The wiring substrate may be attached to the stiffener plate at a central location of the wiring substrate. Space may be provided at other locations where the wiring substrate is attached to the stiffener plate so that the wiring substrate can expand and contract with respect to the stiffener plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2007
    Publication date: February 21, 2008
    Inventors: Benjamin Eldridge, Gary Grube, Eric Hobbs, Gaetan Mathieu, Makarand Shinde, Alexander Slocum, A. Sporck, Thomas Watson
  • Publication number: 20080020227
    Abstract: A robust mechanical structure is provided to prevent small foundation structures formed on a substrate from detaching from the substrate surface. The strengthened structure is formed by plating a foundation metal layer on a seed layer and then embedding the plated foundation structure in an adhesive polymer material, such as epoxy. Components, such as spring probes, can then be constructed on the plated foundation. The adhesive polymer material better assures the adhesion of the metal foundation structure to the substrate surface by counteracting forces applied to an element, such as a spring probe, attached to the plated foundation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2007
    Publication date: January 24, 2008
    Inventors: Gary Grube, Gaetan Mathieu, Benjamin Eldridge, Chadwick Sofield
  • Publication number: 20070287304
    Abstract: An electrical interconnect assembly and methods for making an electrical interconnect assembly. In one embodiment, an interconnect assembly includes a flexible wiring layer having a plurality of first contact elements and a fluid containing structure which is coupled to the flexible wiring layer. The fluid, when contained in the fluid containing structure, presses the flexible wiring layer towards a device under test to form electrical interconnections between the first contact elements and corresponding second contact elements on the device under test. In a further embodiment, an interconnect assembly includes a flexible wiring layer having a plurality of first contact terminals and a semiconductor substrate which includes a plurality of second contact terminals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2007
    Publication date: December 13, 2007
    Inventor: Benjamin Eldridge
  • Publication number: 20070285114
    Abstract: Products and assemblies are provided for socketably receiving elongate interconnection elements, such as spring contact elements, extending from electronic components, such as semiconductor devices. Socket substrates are provided with capture pads for receiving ends of elongate interconnection elements extending from electronic components. Various capture pad configurations are disclosed. Connections to external devices are provided via conductive traces adjacent the surface of the socket substrate. The socket substrate may be supported by a support substrate. In a particularly preferred embodiment the capture pads are formed directly on a primary substrate such as a printed circuit board.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2007
    Publication date: December 13, 2007
    Inventors: David Pedersen, Benjamin Eldridge, Igor Khandros
  • Publication number: 20070271071
    Abstract: A central test facility transmits wirelessly test data to a local test facility, which tests electronic devices using the test data. The local test facility transmits wirelessly response data generated by the electronic devices back to the central test facility, which analyzes the response data to determine which electronic devices passed the testing. The central test facility may provide the results of the testing to other entities, such as a design facility where the electronic devices were designed or a manufacturing facility where the electronic devices where manufactured. The central test facility may accept requests for test resources from any of a number of local test facilities, schedule test times corresponding to each test request, and at a scheduled test time, wirelessly transmits test data to a corresponding local test facility.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2007
    Publication date: November 22, 2007
    Inventors: Igor Khandros, Benjamin Eldridge
  • Publication number: 20070269997
    Abstract: An electronic component is disclosed, having a plurality of microelectronic spring contacts mounted to a planar face of the component. Each of the microelectronic spring contacts has a contoured beam, which may be formed of an integral layer of resilient material deposited over a contoured sacrificial substrate, and comprises a base mounted to the planar face of the component, a beam connected to the base at a first end of the beam, and a tip positioned at a free end of the beam opposite to the base. The beam has an unsupported span between its free end and its base. The microelectronic spring contacts are advantageously formed by depositing a resilient material over a molded, sacrificial substrate. The spring contacts may be provided with various innovative contoured shapes. In various embodiments of the invention, the electronic component comprises a semiconductor die, a semiconductor wafer, a LGA socket, an interposer, or a test head assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2007
    Publication date: November 22, 2007
    Inventors: Benjamin Eldridge, Stuart Wenzel
  • Publication number: 20070262767
    Abstract: An electronic device is moved into a first position such that terminals of the electronic device are adjacent probes for making electrical contact with the terminals. The electronic device is then moved horizontally or diagonally such that the terminals contact the probes. Test data are then communicated to and from the electronic device through the probes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2007
    Publication date: November 15, 2007
    Inventors: Timothy Cooper, Benjamin Eldridge, Igor Khandros, Rod Martens, Gaetan Mathieu
  • Publication number: 20070257696
    Abstract: A main power source supplies current through path impedance to a power terminal of an integrated circuit device under test (DUT). The DUT's demand for current at the power input terminal temporarily increases following edges of a clock signal applied to the DUT during a test as transistors within the IC switch in response to the clock signal edges. To limit variation (noise) in voltage at the power input terminal, an auxiliary power supply supplies an additional current pulse to the power input terminal to meet the increased demand during each cycle of the clock signal. The magnitude of the current pulse is a function of a predicted increase in current demand during that clock cycle, and of the magnitude of an adaption signal controlled by a feedback circuit provided to limit variation in voltage developed at the DUT's power input terminal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2007
    Publication date: November 8, 2007
    Inventors: Benjamin Eldridge, Charles Miller
  • Publication number: 20070247176
    Abstract: A method of designing and manufacturing a probe card assembly includes prefabricating one or more elements of the probe card assembly to one or more predefined designs. Thereafter, design data regarding a newly designed semiconductor device is received along with data describing the tester and testing algorithms to be used to test the semiconductor device. Using the received data, one or more of the prefabricated elements is selected. Again using the received data, one or more of the selected prefabricated elements is customized. The probe card assembly is then built using the selected and customized elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2007
    Publication date: October 25, 2007
    Inventors: Gary Grube, Igor Khandros, Benjamin Eldridge, Gaetan Mathieu, Poya Lotfizadeh, Chih-Chiang Tseng
  • Publication number: 20070228110
    Abstract: Contact structures exhibiting resilience or compliance for a variety of electronic components are formed by bonding a free end of a wire to a substrate, configuring the wire into a wire stem having a springable shape, severing the wire stem, and overcoating the wire stem with at least one layer of a material chosen primarily for its structural (resiliency, compliance) characteristics. A variety of techniques for configuring, severing, and overcoating the wire stem are disclosed. In an exemplary embodiment, a free end of a wire stem is bonded to a contact area on a substrate, the wire stem is configured to have a springable shape, the wire stem is severed to be free-standing by an electrical discharge, and the free-standing wire stem is overcoated by plating. A variety of materials for the wire stem (which serves as a falsework) and for the overcoat (which serves as a superstructure over the falsework) are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2007
    Publication date: October 4, 2007
    Inventors: Benjamin Eldridge, Gary Grube, Igor Khandros, Gaetan Mathieu
  • Publication number: 20070229102
    Abstract: A wafer test assembly includes multiple probe head substrates arranged like tiles with connectors attached to one side and probes supported on the opposing side. In one embodiment, flexible cable connectors directly connect the connectors on the probe head tile to a test head, while in another embodiment the flexible cables connect the probe head tile to a PCB providing horizontal routing to test head connectors. In one embodiment, leveling pins provide a simplified support structure connecting to a retaining element attached to the tiles to provide for applying a push-pull leveling force. A test head connector interface frame enables rearrangement of connectors between the test head and the probe card to provide for both full wafer contact or partial wafer contact. The test head connectors are rearranged by being slidable on rails, or pluggable and unpluggable enabling movement over a range of positions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2007
    Publication date: October 4, 2007
    Inventors: Benjamin Eldridge, Barbara Vasquez, Makarand Shinde, Gaetan Mathieu, A. Sporck
  • Publication number: 20070210822
    Abstract: One or more testers wirelessly communicate with one or more test stations. The wireless communication may include transmission of test commands and/or test vectors to a test station, resulting in testing of one or more electronic devices at the test station. The wireless communication may also include transmission of test results to a tester. Messages may also be wirelessly exchanged.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2007
    Publication date: September 13, 2007
    Inventors: Igor Khandros, Benjamin Eldridge, A. Sporck, Charles Miller
  • Publication number: 20070205780
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing a stack with a guard plane embedded in the stack are disclosed. An electrical apparatus can be made by forming a stack comprising an electrically conductive signal structure, an electrical guard structure, and an electrically insulating structure disposed between the signal structure and the guard structure. The signal structure, insulating structure, and guard structure can be aligned one with another in the stack.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2006
    Publication date: September 6, 2007
    Applicant: FORMFACTOR, INC.
    Inventor: Benjamin Eldridge
  • Publication number: 20070194779
    Abstract: An electronics module is assembled by demountably attaching integrated circuits to a module substrate. The module is then tested at a particular operating speed. If the module fails to operate correctly at the tested speed, the integrated circuit or circuits that caused the failure are removed and replaced with new integrated circuits, and the module is retested. Once it is determined that the module operates correctly at the tested speed, the module may be rated to operate at the tested speed and sold, or the module may be tested at a higher speed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Publication date: August 23, 2007
    Applicant: FORMFACTOR, INC.
    Inventor: Benjamin Eldridge
  • Publication number: 20070182438
    Abstract: A base controller disposed in a test cassette receives test data for testing a plurality of electronic devices. The base controller wirelessly transmits the test data to a plurality of wireless test control chips, which write the test data to each of the electronic devices. The wireless test control chips then read response data generated by the electronic devices, and the wireless test control chips wirelessly transmit the response data to the base controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2007
    Publication date: August 9, 2007
    Inventors: Igor Khandros, Benjamin Eldridge, Charles Miller, A. Sporck
  • Publication number: 20070170941
    Abstract: An electronic device is moved into a first position with respect to probes for making electrical contact with the device. The electronic device is then moved into a second position in which the electronic device is pressed against the probes, compressing the probes. The movement into the second position includes two components. One component of the movement tends to press the electronic device against the probes, compressing the probes and inducing a stress in the probes. The second movement tends to reduce that stress. Test data are then communicated to and from the electronic device through the probes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Publication date: July 26, 2007
    Inventors: Timothy Cooper, Benjamin Eldridge, Igor Khandros, Rod Martens, Gaetan Mathieu
  • Publication number: 20070152685
    Abstract: Probe array structures and methods of making probe array structures are disclosed. A plurality of electrically conductive elongate contact structures disposed on a first substrate can be provided. The contact structures can then be partially encased in a securing material such that ends of the contact structures extend from a surface of the securing material. The exposed portions of the contact structures can then be captured in a second substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2006
    Publication date: July 5, 2007
    Applicant: FormFactor, Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Eldridge, Treliant Fang, John Gritters, Igor Khandros, Dennis Ma, Gaetan Mathieu