Micro Prober Measures High-Frequency Characteristics at High Speed
The systems enable high-speed, high-accuracy inspections of high-frequency characteristics of actual product patterns when combined with a vector network analyzer.

amaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd. has started to receive orders for the MP502 and MP502-A Micro Prober MP Series that inspect high-frequency characteristics of circuit boards at high speed and high precision.

The production of circuit boards using materials, such as liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and modified polyamide (MPI) that are suitable for high-frequency signals, has increased in the electronic circuit board market in recent years due to the launch and spread of 5G communication services. These substrates require to have better frequency characteristics. Until now, inspections of frequency characteristics have been conducted using sample inspections of test coupons.

In contrast, the new MP502 and MP502-A systems enable high-speed, high-accuracy inspections of high-frequency characteristics of actual product patterns when combined with a commercial vector network analyser (VNA). This enables inspections of actual products that were formerly problematic, and measurement of all relevant mass-produced products.

MP502 micro prober: Measures High-Frequency Characteristics at High Speed
Photo: MP502 micro prober
Major Features
High stability, inspection reproducibility
Its ±20µm repeatability positioning precision using image alignment provides accurate probing contact with substrates. The step and repeat method achieves stable inspection performance by repeating substrate image alignment, inspection using test fixtures, and worksheet movement. Even with thin printed circuit boards (PCBs), clamping the subject in four corners and applying optimal force allows for flat contact with the test fixture. The cable orientation remains largely unchanged during lowering and rising inspection fixture operations, reducing the impact on high-frequency characteristics caused by changes to the cable configuration.

These functions make it possible to obtain automatic, stable, and highly repeatable inspection results regardless of inspection operator skill levels.

Map of a Equipment configuration
Figure: Equipment Configuration
Fast and simultaneous measurement of multiple pieces
A multiport-compatible VNA can be connected as an inspection system, allowing high-speed, high-precision inspections to be conducted simultaneously for multiple pieces placed on a worksheet. VNAs are typically capable of measuring insertion loss and return loss.

However, various measurement items, such as time domain reflectometer (TDR) can also be added, depending on the selected VNA.

Simple operation
When changing the setup, the fixture can be released simply by pressing a software button. After the operator replaces the fixture and configures this in accordance with the instructions displayed in the software dialog box, the system then automatically adjusts the positions of the fixture and clamp hands. Once inspection items and other settings have been set by an engineer, the operator only needs to set the product on the system and press the start button to inspect all pieces on the worksheet. MP502-A comes equipped with an automated transfer, so simply setting multiple products on the stocker and pressing the start button supplies and removes products automatically, further improving work efficiency.