Burn-in & Test Socket WorkshopTM


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BiTS is the world's premier workshop dedicated to providing a forum for the latest information about burn-in and test socketing, and related fields.
At BiTS you'll find a comprehensive technical program, exhibits of the latest products and services, and many opportunities to meet, network and explore ideas with other test and burn-in socketing professionals.

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The papers in this publication comprise the proceedings of the 2009 BiTS Workshop. They reflect the authors’ opinions and are reproduced here as presented with occasional minor edits. Their inclusion in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the BiTS Workshop, the sponsors, BiTS Workshop LLC, or the authors.

There is NO copyright protection claimed by this publication; some tutorials may be copyrighted. However, each presentation is the work of the authors and their respective companies: as such, it is strongly suggested that any use reflect proper acknowledgement to the appropriate source. Any questions regarding the use of any materials presented should be directed to the author/s or their companies.

All photographs on this page are copyrighted by BiTS Workshop LLC. The BiTS logo and ‘Burn-in & Test Socket Workshop’ are trademarks of BiTS Workshop LLC.

Technical Program

Authors from around the world shared their latest work in over 30 Papers and Posters covering a prominent range of timely and fundamental topics.

Two Tutorials were offered where participants learned from experts to build their leading edge skills.  Jon Diller of Interconnect devices Inc. shared his insights on Socket Technology and Tom Bresnan of R&D Circuits taught participants of the basics of printed circuit boards.

Two respected Invited Speakers shared their views on the socket industry.  Dr. James Forster, CTO of Antares Advanced Test Technologies, recognized the 10th anniversary of BiTS by applying the BiTS archive to a socket industry retrospective and outlook with his talk “BiTS and Pieces– Past, Present and Future”.  Mr. David Pfaff, President of Plastronics Socket Company, addressing the unprecedented business climate, shared his thoughts on staying focused on what is important for your business and offered ideas to ensure success with his talk “Opportunity or Disaster - What You Need to do for the Next 10 Years”.

The Distinguished Speaker Navid Shahriari, Director of STTD at Intel, shared his views on the testing business and supplier/customer relationships to accelerate improvements beyond normal evolution with “Breaking Traditional Boundaries - OUR Industry Challenges at Test”

In the Keynote Address, Brandon Prior from Prismark Partners, a renowned IC packaging market research analyst, offered a forecast of what’s in store for the burn-in and test community.

BiTS EXPO 2009
45 exhibitors, from socketing and related industries, exhibited their products and services during breaks in the technical program.  Click HERE for more info on BiTS EXPO 2009.

BiTS 2009 brought together 300 participants, including 160 full-conference attendees and 45 exhibitors from around the world, representing end users and suppliers of sockets, boards, burn-in systems, handlers, packages and other related equipment, materials and services.

BiTS 2009 in the Press
BiTS 2009 Organizing Committee
Ila Pal (Antares Advanced Test Technologies),
Rafiq Hussain (AMD), Mark Murdza (Cascade Microtech), Valts Treibergs (Everett Charles Technologies)

Paul Boyce (Advantage Specialist), Owen Prillaman (TechConnect Sales), Steve Hamren (Micron Systems Integration), Fred Taber (BiTS Workshop)

Not Pictured:
Morten Jensen (Intel),  Mike Noel (Freescale), Tim Swettlen (Intel), Joachim Moerbt (Advantest Europe), John Moore (Texas Instruments), Kena Pegram (R&D Circuits), Marc Knox (IBM)


Tutorial 1


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Jon Diller

Director of International Sales & Marketing

Interconnect Devices, Inc.

Mr. Jon Diller is the Director of International Sales & Marketing at Interconnect Devices, Inc. In his 15+ years of experience in applications engineering for Interconnect Devices, Inc., Mr. Diller has worked around the globe on a variety of test interconnect projects. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Ottawa University.

This tutorial offered a comprehensive study of test sockets. With an emphasis on socket technology, the role of the socket in the test interface was defined from electrical and mechanical perspectives. Plus, commercial aspects, some history and a future roadmap were discussed.

The many options for electrical contacts, which are perhaps the most critical factor in the success of a socket as a transparent interconnect, were described and compared in detail. Their anatomies, advantages, and vulnerabilities were made plain to attendees regardless of their background and experience.

Likewise, various socket materials and their limitations were reviewed. The features which integrate the test socket with its compression mechanism (be it manual lid or robotic test handler) were covered to provide an understanding of how they shape the socket platform.
This led naturally into how devices can be aligned within sockets, which in turn carried the discussion into a comparison of various techniques for alignment such as floating nests and strip test.

High-frequency behavior was touched upon briefly, to the extent necessary for typical engineers to select contacts and specify socket constructions.

Finally, maintenance and life-tracking was reviewed with an eye toward better and more economical test strategies. Engineers who attended this session, regardless of their experience with test sockets, left with a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of test sockets in terms of application, specification, and selection.

Who should have attend this tutorial:
Test engineers who are relatively new to the socket ‘world’ accelerated their knowledge of sockets, while veteran engineers gained new insights by having the opportunity to think outside of the boundaries of their direct experience. Others, such as executives, journalists, and academics, whose work takes them close to the socket industry and seek a deeper understanding of the socketing field and all its vagaries, found this tutorial just what they need.

Tutorial 2


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Tom Bresnan

Sales Manager

R&D Circuits

Mr. Tom Bresnan is the National Sales Manager at R&D Circuits of South Plainfield, NJ. His more than 25 years of Printed Circuit Board manufacturing experience includes positions in various Engineering and Management roles for some of the world’s largest manufacturers of complex Printed Circuit Boards, including Hadco, Multek and Sanmina-SCI. He is a distinguished lifetime member of the IPC (a US based, global trade organization representing the printed circuit industry) Technical Activities Executive Committee, and has presented and published numerous technical articles for the industry on MCM-L’s and advanced plating capabilities. He resides in Colonia, NJ with his wife Joanne and sons, TJ and Kyle.

That ‘thing’ under your socket is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) – a critical part of your packaged test and/or burn-in solution. This tutorial’s scope offered attendees an across the board examination of those Printed Circuit Boards sitting under your socket. The focus was on learning about the attributes, materials and processes required to produce the PCB’s used as test interface boards. In ‘bringing the Printed Circuit Board shop to the tutorial hall’, a better understanding of the challenges you and your PCB vendors face was attained.

A brief history of the PCB or PWB (Printed Circuit/Wiring Board) industry was covered, specifically in relation to the ATE industry. Next detailed discussions on pitch, layer count, board thickness and via drill hole diameter (to name but a few of the critical attributes of today’s interface boards) on manufacturability and cost was explored. Additionally, the many options currently available for materials, and how those options may be shrinking (as is device pitch!) were examined.

That was followed by a detailed explanation of the PWB manufacturing process - from raw materials through finished product, including new visual aids and a hands-on exhibit of a PWB in all its process stages.

Last, but certainly not least, the quality and performance characteristics you can demand of your supplier(s) was analyzed. Even with today’s boards becoming more crowded (with components) and pitch and pin counts driving attributes ever smaller, there are ways to verify and validate the quality of your interface boards with your suppliers. Attendees learned how, with samples of data gathered over years of process development, characterization and verification.


Who should have attend this tutorial:
Test Engineers & technicians (and others) who wanted more detailed knowledge of just what a printed circuit board is (and isn’t) will find this an excellent tutorial on Printed Circuit Board design and manufacturing. This is a rare opportunity where attendees, whose work in the test and burn-in arena benefits from a deeper understanding of Printed Circuit Board technology,  participated in a concentrated tutorial covering such a key topic area, and came away with a new-found understanding of PCB technology capabilities and limitations.


Invited Speaker

BiTS and Pieces– Past, Present and Future

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Dr. James Forster

Chief Technical Officer

Antares Advanced Test Technologies

The BiTS Workshop is the world’s premier event dedicated to providing a forum for the latest information about test and burn-in socketing and related fields. It has become the annual event for those involved in the “backend” of semiconductor processing and draws attendees and exhibitors from around the world for learning and networking. The workshop has been held in the Phoenix area since its inception in 2000.

This year represents a significant milestone as the workshop celebrates its 10th meeting. During the history of BiTS we have experienced good food, good company and excellent and perceptive presentations. While all the presentations are available on the BiTS website, perhaps the 10th anniversary is a good time to take a little time to reflect on some of the previous presentations.

The BiTS Workshop’s archives are a tremendous source of information. This presentation will re-examine some of the presentations from the previous 9 workshops. Specific papers will be highlighted and some “sense” and “perspective” given – the past presentations will be dusted-off and a light shone into this library of information.

After looking backward, a look forward will examine packaging trends and the potential issues the audience will have to face in the coming years.

Dr. Forster is the Chief Technical Officer for Antares Advanced Test Technologies. He joined the Wells-CTI Divison of Antares in 2005 as a Materials Technology Manager. Previously he held a variety of management positions with the Sensors and Controls Group of Texas Instruments. He has authored more than 25 technical publications including several on the challenges of burn-in sockets. A holder of 18 U.S. patents, Dr. Forster earned his B.Sc with honors in Mechanical Engineering in England at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and his Masters and Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Invited Speaker

Opportunity or Disaster - What You Need to do for the Next 10 Years

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David Pfaff


Plastronics Socket Company

As BiTS celebrates its 10th anniversary, the industry is being challenged with unprecedented global and business issues. Companies need to take action, but what should they do?

Sometimes the wrong action is worse than no action at all. This talk will discuss how not to get caught up in the current pandemonium but to stay focused on what is important for your business. You’ll be taught powerful ideas you can implement today to ensure your company successfully makes it to BiTS 2018.

Mr. Pfaff is President of Plastronics Socket Company. He has run Plastronics Socket Company, a fully integrated design, molder and manufacturer of burn-in sockets, for over 10 years. Mr. Pfaff graduated from Pomona College and has a MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Irving, Texas, with his wife and two beautiful children.



Opening Remarks

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Welcoming remarks from the General Chair

BiTS 2009 Keynote Address  IC Packaging: Global Trends, Technologies and Next Generation 3D Solutions

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Brandon Prior
Senior Consultant
Prismark Partners

IC packaging solutions have been evolving in many ways that were forecast, and in some ways not predicted by any analysts. This presentation looks at the recent trends of IC packages in terms of package type, pitch, and integration for multi-chip and 3D solutions. In preparing for the next decade of innovations, this brief synopsis provides a forecast for current advanced packages, and a look into future developments in 3D and package integration that may have an impact on overall test strategies and challenges going forward.

Mr. Brandon Prior joined Prismark Partners in 1996 and is the editor of Prismark’s Semiconductor and Packaging Quarterly Report. He works with the leading component, equipment and material providers to provide custom market and technology research in the area of IC packaging. Mr. Prior earned BA and BE degrees from Dartmouth College and the Thayer School of Engineering in Hanover NH.


Session 1

 Living the High Life (High Current & Power)

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This session offers a representative look at the "high life" of those dealing with high power and high current issues in the BiTS environment. The kickoff paper features analysis and insight related to current carrying capabilities of small metal conductors in response to current pulses. Then it’s an examination of the role and impact of decoupling capacitor placement as it relates to efficient power delivery. The session then follows the power delivery path into the realm of socket contacts with a look into the socket contact and the associated contact to product interface as they are both pushed to operate at very high current densities. The closing “highlight” is an overview of the issues associated with socketing high power devices, spanning from power delivery issues to related thermal issues.
"Pulsed Current-Carrying Capacity of Small Metallic Conductors as Applied to Device Test"
Attendee Choice Award
Harlan Faller
Johnstech International Corporation
"Power Integrity Ingenuity at Test"
Abram Detofsky
Intel Corporation
Omer Vikinski
Intel Corporation
Shaul Lupo
Intel Corporation
Tim Swettlen
Intel Corporation
"Moore or Less: Effects of Higher Currents on Socket Life"
Kevin DeFord
Interconnect devices, Inc.
"Design Considerations in Socketing High Power Devices"
Jec Sangalang
Yamaichi Electronics USA Inc.
Mike Noel


BiTS 2009 Distinguished Speaker
Breaking Traditional Boundaries - OUR Industry Challenges at Test

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Navid Shahriari

Director of STTD

Intel Corporation

Success in the semiconductor market is never predictable but it always involves being faster, cheaper or better than your competition. This maxim holds especially true when it comes to microprocessor test. While Moore’s Law has spawned a profusion of product features and functions through ever cheaper and abundant transistors, it has left test with increasing complexity and cost. Additionally, market forces necessitate ever-smaller form factors as mobile products become ubiquitous. This combination of shrinking geometry, increasing bandwidth and expanding features creates a confluence of mechanical, electrical and thermal challenges that run head-on into a severely cost constrained environment in the midst of an economic downturn.

Meeting these stringent technical challenges while providing cost effective solutions, requires a collaborative response from the whole industry. Customers and suppliers alike. An outlook on the key technology drivers, leadtime, and total test costs, as well as what can be done between the suppliers and customers, to accelerate improvements beyond normal evolution, will be shared with the audience.

Mr. Shahriari is the Director of STTD (Sort Test Technology Development) at Intel Corporation. Since 1989, he has held several engineering and engineering management positions in test equipment, process development, product engineering, and supplier development at Intel. He’s a founding member of the STTD group, which originated in 1993. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Masters Degree from Arizona State University.


Poster Session 1


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This is the first of two poster sessions.

Poster Sessions offered an additional means for scientific communications between authors and attendees. With their interactive nature, Poster Sessions provided authors and attendees with the opportunity to share and explore ideas more deeply, yet less formally, than a podium presentation.

"Contact Challenges with Leadless Devices"
Best Poster Award
Justin Toops
Interconnect Devices, Inc.
Kiley Beard
Interconnect Devices, Inc.
John Diller
Interconnect Devices, Inc.
"Interconnect Technology: Is There Really Such a Thing as a Sweet Spot?"
Paul Schubring
Praba Prabakaran
Antares Advanced Test Technologies
"A Fast Optimization Approach which Integrates Mechanical & Electrical Performance into High Speed Socket Design"
Dr. Yen-Chih Chang
Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co. Ltd.
Andrew Gattuso
Foxconn Electronics, Inc.
"High Performance Electrical Contact For 0.3-0.4 mm Contact Pitch"
SM Low
ADE Technologies
Che-Yu Li
Che-Yu Li & Co.
Adam Hopper
Protos Electronics
Tia Korhonen
Che-Yu Li & Co.

Session 2

 Novel Approaches to Socket Design

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Among the significant socketing challenges we are faced with today are tighter alignment requirements for fine pitch devices, the emerging field of package on package contacting, not to mention high power requirements and the ever-present relentless pressure to reduce lead time. In this session we learn more about some of the newest developments in socket technology that are targeted at addressing these issues.
"PoP Contactor - Challenges and Solutions"
Jiachun (Frank) Zhou
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Siang Soh
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
David B. Bogardus
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Brian L. Hahn
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
"A Bias Clip System for the IC Alignment"
Hide Furukawa
Sensata Technologies, Inc.
Hideyuki Takahashi
Sensata Technologies Japan
"High Temperature, Fast Turnaround Modular Burn-in Socket "
Rick A. Taylor
EP Ants GmbH
Stefan Lang
EP Ants GmbH
Ernie Frain
EP Ants GmbH
"New PTB / High Power Kelvin Test Socket Concept"
Gerhard Gschwendtberger
Multitest Elektronische Systeme GmbH


Session 3

 Adventures in Test & Burn-in Operations

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As packaged devices continue to grow in complexity, test and burn-in challenges increase as well. With that, operational costs and the efficiency of semiconductor operations become critical factors in maintaining profitability. Higher power, higher pin count, package size and packaged device complexity drive the need to increase operational efficiency and develop better techniques to ensure success in a semiconductor manufacturing environment. This session's authors share their novel ideas on how to improve your operations in the areas of PCB tuning, electrical bias techniques, contactor tracking, and parallel test solutions.
"Parallel Logic Test Interface Solutions"
YH Jeon
Sang-Il Kwon
Gary Westendorf
Chris Mack
"CID: A New Breakthrough Solution for Contactor Hardware Tracking"
Jonathan Mondero
Texas Instruments Philippines
Kevin Tiernan
Texas Instruments Houston
Mike Guenther
Texas Instruments Houston
Eugene Batilo
Everett Charles Technologies – STG Singapore
"Mechanical Reliability Test as Part of Final Test of a Packaged Chip"
Tia Korhonen
Che-Yu Li & Co.
Che-Yu Li
Che-Yu Li & Co.
Tim Wooden
Protos Electronics
SM Low
ADE Technologies
"Substrate Bias: Application in Final Test and Burn-in of High-Power CPU's"
Max Paransky
Texas Instruments

Poster Session 2


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This is the second of two poster sessions.

Poster Sessions offered an additional means for scientific communications between authors and attendees. With their interactive nature, Poster Sessions provided authors and attendees with the opportunity to share and explore ideas more deeply, yet less formally, than a podium presentation.

“Elastomer Contact System for ATE - Innovation to the "Core" ”
Tony Smith
Phoenix Test Arrays
Frank Bumb
Phoenix Test Arrays
Jack Pereschuk
Phoenix Test Arrays
Ila Pal
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Roni Awale
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
“The Development of a PB Free Test Socket”
Hidekazu "Hide" Miura
MJC Electronics Corp.
Fred Megna
MJC Electronics Corp.
“Kelvin Testing of BGA Devices - Packaged and Wafer-Scale”
Jim Brandes
Everett Charles Technologies
Valts Treibergs
Everett Charles Technologies

Session 4

 PCBs – More Than Just Boards

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Within final test and burn-in of packaged devices, PCBs play a major role on yield, test results and cost. Therefore the performance of the electrical path as well as the mechanical capabilities of PCBs must be taken into account. In this session PCBs are viewed from different angles to comply with the needs of future testing: design, manufacturing and operation. The authors reflect on simulation of PCBs and contactor parasitics within the system up to the pin of the device, as well as on the necessity of cost reduction by selecting cost efficient BIB interconnection methods. In addition the manufacturability of fine geometric structures is outlined.
"Tuning a PCB/Contactor System to Your Device"
Best Presentation - Tutorial in Nature Award
Ryan Satrom
Everett Charles Technologies
"A Novel Redesign of BI System Interconnects Results in Major BIB Cost Reduction for Day-to-Day Operations"
Most Inspirational Award
Bob Jemison
RJI Technical Sales
"Advances in Plating Technology, Reliable High Aspect Ratio Holes"
Thomas N. Bresnan
R&D Circuits

Session 5

A Salmagundi of Socket Science

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A salmagundi? Not sure what a salmagundi is? Hint: this session has mix of 4 diverse topics. They offer an insight into the broad range of subjects that encompass the socketing field.

You’ll hear about an innovative technique to manage fine pitch testing, using modeling to optimize performance, the motivation and methods to conduct burn-in at the wafer level and conducting comparative socket evaluation experiments.

"Performance Studies on Space Transformer Structures"
Roger Weiss
Paricon Technologies Corp.
"Design & Test of Very High Bandwidth QFN/QFP Sockets"
James Zhou
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Ila Pal
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Dr. James Forster
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Jiachun (Frank) Zhou
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Steve Davis
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Dima Alzoubaidi
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
"Improving Your Test System Performance in High Frequency Applications"
Jeff Sherry
Johnstech International
Michael Voo
Avago Technologies
"Wafer-Level Burn-In of Hall-Effect Sensors"
Steve Steps
Aehr Test Systems
Jochen Seidler
Micronas GmbH


Session 6

Studies and Evaluations of Electrical Contacts

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Making good electrical contact is a core focus of test socket solutions today, and organizations across the industry invest endless amounts of resources into studying and evaluating electrical contacts in efforts to optimize performance, reliability, and cost. This session presents four angles into electrical contact challenges in an ever-challenging test environment.
"Test on Ball"
Khaled Elmadbouly
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Ila Pal
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Cody Jacob
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Dr. James Forster
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
"Contacting Pb-free Finishes - A Study of the Effects of Different Lead Finishes on the CRES and Reliability of a QFP Contact"
Dr. James Forster
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Kazumasa Sato
Antares Advanced Test Tech.
Don Hewer
ST-Microelectronics (Malta)
"Current-Voltage Nonlinearities in Test Socket Contacts"
Best Presentation Award
Gert Hohenwarter
GateWave Northern, Inc.
"Evaluation of Different Price-Point Spring Pin Contactors for an RF Application"
James Migliaccio
RF Micro Devices
John Capwell
RF Micro Devices

Session 7

 Advancements & Innovations in Socket Materials

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Advancements in packaged electronics, like larger size, very high I/O counts and tighter pitches have placed increased stress on selecting the right materials for socket bodies and electrical contacts. Socketing these packages demand plastics that can handle thinner side-walls, have higher moldability, and maintain better dimensional stability, plus requiring the metals for electrical contacts to have higher strength, formability and electrical conductivity. In this session, learn about choosing socket materials but also become acquainted with their recent advancements and innovations.
"New Performance-Enhanced Cu-Be Strip Products for Burn-in Test Socket Applications"
Best Data Award
John C. Harkness
Brush Wellman Inc.


"The Evolution & Evaluation of Plastics Materials in Burn-in & Test Applications "
Dana Scott
Quadrant EPP
Scott Williams
Quadrant EPP

Awards / Closing Remarks

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