ProChek™ and the ProChek Test Coupon

ProChek IMG_1444 box-nothing on top

ProChek platform

The ProChek semiconductor process characterization system offers a unique capability to dramatically accelerate the task of collecting large amounts of data. Whether you work at a semiconductor foundry, a fabless IC vendor, or an ASIC design house, by designing and fabricating a ProChek Test Coupon  you can use a single IC to characterize different types of test structures with varying geometries and under different stress conditions in much less time than with traditional tools and methodologies.

Arrays of Arrays of Test Structures

The ProChek Test Coupon, in conjunction with base ProChek test platform, allows you to test different types of process-level devices on a single test coupon (test chip). You can place PMOS, NMOS, bipolar junction transistors (BJTs), vias, annular gate transistors, etc. of your own design all on a single chip. The Test Coupon is designed with an on-chip switching matrix and control logic so that the proper stresses can be applied and accurate measurements made. Since all the test devices in a given group are subjected to the same stress conditions – e.g., elevated temperate or voltage – in parallel but measured individually, it takes as much time to characterize all the devices in a group of 32 (for example, although there is no hard-set limit to the number of devices that a group may contain) as it previously took to measure a single device, resulting in a tremendous time savings.

Embedded Heaters

You can surround any or all of the groups of test structures with embedded polysilicon heaters to rapidly and precisely change the temperature of a single array of devices as part of an accelerated life test procedure. Instead of using an oven (for packaged devices) or a heated wafer chuck (for wafer-level testing), ProChek controls it. A high temperature ceramic package for the Test Coupon is advised when it includes embedded heaters.

These two features combine to give you unprecedented acceleration of the overall testing process, a task that can take months because of the time normally required to cause the observable degradation that even accelerated life testing requires.

Types of Test Coupons

ProChek supports two types of Test Coupons:

ProChek Integrated Test Coupon

ProChek Integrated Test Coupon – click to enlarge

Integrated: All the switches, control logic, and heaters are on the same chip as the devices under test (DUTs). This is typically done for a process which is already mature and relatively well-characterized, and when radiation testing is not required.

ProChek TSIC + DUT IC Test Coupon

ProChek Test Supervisor IC + DUT IC Test Coupon – click to enlarge

Test Supervisor IC (TSIC) + DUT IC: When a process is not yet fully developed (i.e., lacks a mature process design kit (PDK)), then a TSIC may be used in conjunction with a separate chip (the DUT IC) to contain just the DUTs and the heaters. The TSIC controls the DUT IC devices and heaters. The TSIC and DUT IC can be connected together through a variety of mechanisms, depending on the application. This approach is also useful when the DUTs need to be characterized for radiation tolerance, so the DUT IC is exposed while the TSIC is shielded.

ProChek Test Coupons offer a simple interface to the ProChek benchtop platform because all the interfacing logic and circuitry is built into the platform. Thus the interface circuit board needs nothing more than a packaged Test Coupon connected to the appropriate ProChek inputs and outputs.

ProChek screenshot

ProChek Software Interface – click to enlarge

Please click here to contact us directly for more information, or visit the links below.

Product briefs


  • Innovative Wafer-Level Reliability Methods using ProChek™
    • Click here to download Dr. McPherson’s webinar presentation (PDF)
    • Click here to download Dr. Manhaeve’s webinar presentation (PDF)
    • Click here to download the audio/video recording of the webinar (ASF)
  • Rapid Collection of Device-Level Reliability Data
    • Click here to download the webinar presentation (PDF)
    • Click here to download the audio/video recording of the webinar (WMV)
  • BEOL Reliability of Nanoelectronic Devices
    • Click here to download the webinar presentation (PDF)
    • Click here to download the audio/video recording of the webinar (WMV)
  • Semiconductor Fabrication Process Characterization Challenges 
    • Click here to download the webinar presentation (PDF)
    • Click here to download the audio/video recording of the webinar (WMV)
  • IC Characterization with ProChek, a Compact Benchtop System
    • Click here to download the webinar presentation (PDF)

White papers

Application notes

Related products