Exaddon’s micro Additive Manufacturing enables sub 20 μm fine-pitch probing

November 23, 2023

November 23, 2023

An optical micrograph of a 128 probe array, additively manufactured directly on contact pads. Probe pitch in x = 18.5 μm (Courtesy Exaddon AG)
An optical micrograph of a 128 probe array, additively manufactured directly on contact pads. Probe pitch in x = 18.5 μm (Courtesy Exaddon AG)

Exaddon AG, headquartered in Glattbrugg, Switzerland, reports it has successfully developed additively manufactured probes for fine-pitch probing at sub 20 μm pitch. Exaddon’s process simplifies probe manufacturing by directly using Additive Manufacturing on customisable and exchangeable space transformers.

The probe testing industry often finds it challenging to reach pitches below 40 μm, explains Exaddon. This limitation – particularly evident in microLEDs – restricts chip design and the necessary scaling to meet consumer demand. With an 80% CAGR and a projected valuation in the tens of billions (USD) over the next five years, the microLED market is on the verge of significant growth. However, testing procedures are lagging, as LEDs are still individually tested using two-probe setups.

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Exaddon’s μAM technology is capable of additively manufacturing microscale structures in complex geometries, delivering high-quality metal components with micrometer resolution. The company’s initial microLED test array is additively manufactured directly on pre-patterned traces with a pitch of less than 20 μm, which is under half the current industry limit. This demonstrator is said to validate Exaddon’s process on microPCBs for mounting on current probe heads. With 128 probes, this array provides microLED testers with a 64X increase in efficiency.

Testing at a finer level increases the active die area, effectively raising yield and lowering chip cost. This ultimately reduces the cost of consumer devices. The template-free AM process is said to be extremely adaptable and well suited to manufacturing high aspect ratio, freestanding structures. It’s possible to contact various pad, bump, and ball structures.


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November 23, 2023

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