New air-only applications from ERS bring higher throughput to wafer thermal test

ERS electronic GmbH, market leader in the field of thermal wafer chucks in semiconductor production, is broadening the range of applications for its proven air-only cooling technology. New products coming out this year from the German high-tech company will make the native advantages of this technology available to applications beyond those that originally made air-cooling so successful in semiconductor thermal test. The new products, currently in the prototype stage, will address the critical issues of semiconductor test: cost, throughput and functional integration. Depending on the customer application, ERS sees the possibility to achieve double-digit increases in test throughput.

The initial drivers of ERS’s air-only cooling success seen in the ERS AC3 thermal chuck system were reliability, reduced footprint and a lower cost of ownership. As the company responded to customer requests for special applications over the past several years, it realized that the inherent flexibility of air-cooling is what made many of the special requests possible. The reason is that a thermal system based on liquid cooling is a closed circuit: after it has delivered chilling power where it is needed, the liquid coolant must necessarily be returned to its starting point to be re-chilled. An air-only cooling system, however, can be implemented as a semi-closed or even a completely open system.  Exhausted coolant eventually leaves the system as clean, dry air. “It is exactly this flexibility that makes it possible to keep more than just the wafer at a controlled temperature in creative ways,” said Klemens Reitinger, General Manager of ERS GmbH.

At this year’s Semicon West in San Francisco, ERS will show a stronger, air-only chiller that won’t require additional footprint and will offer unmatched flexibility in applying temperature control where needed.  Visitors to ERS will have the opportunity to see how this system can control the temperature of peripheral hardware according to individual customer requirements, increasing throughput and stabilizing the thermal test process overall.