LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ICAP Patent Brokerage, a division of ICAP plc and the world's largest intellectual property brokerage firm and organizer of ICAP Ocean Tomo Auctions, is offering for auction a portfolio of design improvements that result in more effective and long-lasting micro probes from Gabe Cherian. The lot will be included in the 15th ICAP Ocean Tomo IP Auction on March 29, 2012, at Terranea Resort near Los Angeles, California.
Background Micro probes are generally used to check and test small pitch, high-density electronic devices, such as chips, wafers, or ball-grid arrays. Most conventional probes use long, thin cantilever springs intended to touch the contact pads of a device under test (DUT). These springs are very long compared to their diameter and the base of each spring is fixed at a probe card, with the working tip at the end of this long slender cantilever. This design geometry makes it very difficult to control and maintain the position or the working tip and the amount of force applied by it on the DUT contact pad. Also, probe springs are very fragile and easily distorted during handling and operation, so the tip may get out of position and may miss the intended device pad. Further, the contact force can become either too large or too small. Too large a contact force can scratch the device pad and damage the whole device. Too small a contact force can give the impression that the device is defective when in reality it could be acceptable. Also, the test spring tip can occasionally slide off the DUT contact pad, resulting in bad readings. Improved probes are required that eliminate such design weaknesses of conventional probes.
Key Characteristics & Benefits
This patent portfolio discloses improved micro-probes that work better, are more effective and are gentler on the device under test (DUT) than conventional designs.
The micro probe test points (probe points) are created on a carrier, which holds onto these probe points in a positive way, so they always coincide with their respective DUT contact pads.
The carrier is mounted on a solid support, or on a pusher, which can be segmented and articulated, with proper cushioning as necessary, to apply just the right amount of force and to avoid excessive scratching of the contact pads or total damage of the DUT.
The micro probes design and operation provide controlled sliding action of the probe points, along the surface of the DUT contact pads, which creates the desirable scrub or wipe, which acts as a plough, moving the oxides and dirt films out of the way to allow the probe point to reach the clean base metal of the DUT contact pad, but using a smaller normal force. This protects the DUT contact pads and saves the DUT from getting damaged.
These micro probes control the direction of the sliding action, so that the probe points move in the desired directions, for example along the long axis of rectangular DUT pads to prevent the probe points from sliding off the contact pads.
An optional feature is to construct each probe point with its own flex joint, so as to create its own scrub or wipe action.
The micro probes can also be constructed to test more than one chip at a time.
Further, the disclosed micro probes are designed to be built in a modular fashion making it quick and easy to change over and get the micro probe back in operation in a timely manner.
Market Potential This portfolio is important for manufacturers of electronic test devices.
Companies who have cited this patent portfolio include: Goldweal Far East Ltd., Groton Industries, MicroProbe Inc., Cascade Microtech Inc.
To learn more about the assets available for sale in this portfolio: Contact Paul Greco of ICAP Patent Brokerage at 212-815-6693 or [email protected]
About ICAP Patent Brokerage ICAP Patent Brokerage is a division of ICAP plc and the world's largest intellectual property brokerage and patent auction firm.
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