Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Majid Ahmadi

Second Advisor

Rashid Rashidzadeh


Applied sciences, Automatic test equipments, High speed manufacturing tests, Integrated circuit testing, Micro-electromechanical systems (mems)., Test interface modules




With the transient frequency of available CMOS technologies exceeding hundreds of gigahertz and the increasing complexity of Integrated Circuit (IC) designs, it is now apparent that the architecture of current testers needs to be greatly improved to keep up with the formidable challenges ahead. Test requirements for modern integrated circuits are becoming more stringent, complex and costly. These requirements include an increasing number of test channels, higher test-speeds and enhanced measurement accuracy and resolution. In a conventional test configuration, the signal path from Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) to the Device-Under-Test (DUT) includes long traces of wires. At frequencies above a few gigahertz, testing integrated circuits becomes a challenging task. The effects on transmission lines become critical requiring impedance matching to minimize signal reflection. AC resistance due to the skin effect and electromagnetic coupling caused by radiation can also become important factors affecting the test results. In the design of a Device Interface Board (DIB), the greater the physical separation of the DUT and the ATE pin electronics, the greater the distortion and signal degradation. In this work, a new Test Interface Module (TIM) based on MEMS technology is proposed to reduce the distance between the tester and device-under-test by orders of magnitude. The proposed solution increases the bandwidth of test channels and reduces the undesired effects of transmission lines on the test results. The MEMS test interface includes a fixed socket and a removable socket. The removable socket incorporates MEMS contact springs to provide temporary with the DUT pads and the fixed socket contains a bed of micro-pins to establish electrical connections with the ATE pin electronics. The MEMS based contact springs have been modified to implement a high-density wafer level test probes for Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) in three dimensional integrated circuits (3D-IC). Prototypes have been fabricated using Silicon On Insulator SOI wafer. Experimental results indicate that the proposed architectures can operate up to 50 GHz without much loss or distortion. The MEMS probes can also maintain a good elastic performance without any damage or deformation in the test phase.