If this photo looks a bit ghostly that’s because it is. We have no surviving photos of the TEL model TMC 4400-A, one of the key systems that helped make today’s TEL into the powerhouse that it is. This shot is of a made-in-America version of the Cobilt division of Computervision, the CP-4400A. TEL held the manufacturing rights to the CP-4400A in Japan.
But times were changing and Cobilt was about to exit the market. New probing issues were emerging as wafer sizes drifted upwards and chip complexity grew. Wafer bow was negligible in a two inch wafer but too large for a vacuum to pull down in a five inch one. Automatic vertical probe point control was essential. Full automation, while needed for yield, nevertheless presented significant stumbling blocks when differences in test time versus prober overhead time were considered. In America, microprocessors and large memories created tremendously long test times.
Because of these issues, Americans were reluctant to embrace fully automatic systems while the Japanese needed them. TEL moved ahead with what is probably the world’s first truly automatic prober, built on the foundation of the old Cobilt 4400. But it was a dramatically different machine.
The rest is history and TEL remains among the top wafer Prober suppliers today.
- Key Contributors: To Be Recognized.
- Industry code: 1343.34
- ©1980 Computervision
All Rights Reserved. Copied with the implied permission of the Copyright Owner
- Mfr’s Code: TEL