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UFO Probe® card – new test card for PIC wafer testing

Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) are the chips of the future. Integrated photonics use light instead of electricity for data and signal processing.

Photonic integrated circuits use light instead of electricity for data transmission and processing. PICs are manufactured in a variety of designs on wafers using classical lithography techniques and existing equipment from established semiconductor manufacturers. However, wafer testing presents its own unique challenges. Due to the additional optical components to be tested, the test throughputs are not yet as high as for established IC functional tests. Test solutions for visual inspection also still need to be procured and integrated. In addition, a complex realignment of the optical interfaces of the test equipment in the submicron range is required for each chip.

Speed up the world

Thanks to Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), optics is becoming the key to fast data communication. The UFO Probe® Technology for PIC wafer-level testing is setting new standards, linking the present and the future.
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UFO Probe® Technology keeps you one step ahead

Testing of optical and electrical functionalities is a crucial factor in wafer production. In high-volume production, it is important to keep both test and setup times low in order to remain economical. This is where UFO Probe® technology offers the right solution, as it enables electrical and optical components of each chip to be tested simultaneously, thus saving time. It is based on a concept for optical scanning of photonic integrated circuits that is insensitive to wafer probers alignment tolerances. Jenoptik probe cards can therefore be used with commercially available wafer probers and ensure a correspondingly high throughput.

Built-in solution for high-volume production

The UFO Probe® Card enables simultaneous electrical and optical testing of chips on wafers with one single probe card. It can be integrated into existing test infrastructure for established electrical function tests - thus eliminating the need for expensive investments in stand-alone solutions.
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New Jenoptik UFO Probe® Vertical

ufo probe card vertical in detail

As the Cantilever Version, the UFO Probe® Vertical enables parallel functional tests of optical as well as electrical components on chips using vertical needle technology from MPI. This allows the user to couple up to 32 optical channels in parallel as standard - or more if required - without the need for active alignment.

Opto-electronics tests with high throughputs:

  • Covers wavelength range from 1260 to 1625 nm used in the telecom and datacom sector
  • Ability to provide polarization maintaining for individual or all optical channels
  • Testing of bond pads, solder bumps or copper pillars
  • Contacts up to tens of thousands of bond pads with dimensions down to 35µm.
  • Smallest addressable pitch of electrical contacts from 40 to 80 µm
  • Vertical probes with lower and more uniform contact resistance from 0.2 to 1.0 ohms, depending on the probe type, while minimizing probe marks.
  • Ensure economical use in high-volume test scenarios and ATE operability.

All benefits of the Probe Card Technology on one view


The PIC ecosystem can be expanded thanks to an efficient test method for high-throughput serial production; and the test time is reduced thanks to parallel qualification of multiple chips.


The only commercial test solution for high-volume production that can run on standard test equipment.


Scrap is identified at an early stage of production for improved yield: All testing of all PICs can be carried out on a wafer.

Plug and Play

It is designed to operate in standard IC testers and automated testers. Low outlay and commissioning costs.


Fault parts are identified early on for increased yield and optimized production flow.


The pitch and number of optical I/O channels can be configured to suit you.

Enabling optical data communication


Probe card applications now and in the future

The current UFO Probe®technology is specifically designed for wafer testing of photonic integrated circuits (PICs), especially for optical transceivers. Other applications include: LEDs/micro-LEDs, VCSEL, photodiodes, MEMS mirrors and PCM structures.

They can easily be integrated into existing test infrastructure

The UFO Probe® card is intended for operation on standard IC probers and/or automated test equipment. So, Jenoptik offers a plug-and-play solution for PIC wafer level tests. Depending on requirements, standard interfaces to wafer samplers can be easily implemented in the layout/design of the probe card – for example, in European card format. UFO Probe® card is used like electrical test cards, so current personnel won't need extensive extra training.

Combination of novel optical concept and proven needle technology

  • Monolithic optical module
  • Alignment-insensitive optical coupling for vertically emitting PICs
  • Simultaneous optical and electrical contacting
  • Optical concept compensates prober alignment tolerances
  • Use of proven needle technology (partnership with test card manufacturers)
  • Standard interface to wafer prober

Technical details of the UFO Probe® optoelectronic card

Specifications Current generationFuture generations

Component to be tested
(Device under test/DUT)

Electronic and photonic integrated circuit (EPIC); optical transceivers for data transmission and telecommunications applications

EPIC for transceivers, photodiodes,
biosensors and Solid State LIDAR

Electric needle technology

Cantilever and Vertical

Cantilever, vertical/advanced

Optical coupling principle DUT

Vertical coupling

Vertical coupling

Number of optical inputs/outputs (OI/OO)

Up to 32 or more


Pitch OI/OO

127 μm, 250 μm, flexible for >250 μm


Layout configuration of OI/OO arrays

Linear arrangement with same direction of inputs/outputs

Configurable to own needs

Coupling angle

0° and 11.6° standard, up to 20° customized

0° - 20°

Supported wavelength

1260 - 1625 nm (O/ L-band)

VIS to NIR (U-band)

Measurement of insertion loss

Repeatability: ~ 0.3 – 0.5 dB

Repeatability target: 0.1 dB

RF measurement

Up to 110 GHz, depending on needle technology



Eurocard format; ATE*

Eurocard format;
ATE interface

*currently without automatic optical docking

Customized Probe Card for your success 

Based on the UFO Probe Technology, we will customize a specific opto-electronic test solution that will fit the complex demands of your application.

Each UFO Probe® Card is customized to the individual requirements and the respective wafer layout and is available with both cantilever and vertical needle technology. Check out the specifications for more details.

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Your partner in PIC testing

Jenoptik has profound expertise and know-how in micro-optics and optics and we are a competent and valuable partner to the semiconductor industry for many years. We know and understand the challenges of our customers and combine these with our technical experience and knowledge to create innovative solutions, such as the UFO Probe®Card. The necessary skills and the continuous development of technologies is just one aspect that we pursue with one goal: Moving you forward.

High-Performance from A to Z – our competencies:

  • Design: Optical module and general electrical and optical probe card card
  • Manufacturing and supply chain management
  • Micro-assembly and alignment of optical and electrical modules
  • Optical test and verification in lab: customized test rig
  • Test under manufacturing conditions: Accretech UF3000 Prober

Have a closer look to the UFO Probe® Vertical


Do you have any questions? Our experts will be happy to help you!

Enrico Piechotka

Key Account Manager

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Awarded! Thuringia Innovation Award 2022 for UFO Probe® card

Jenoptik was awarded the Thuringia Innovation Award 2022 in the "Industry & Materials" category on November 30, 2022 in Weimar, Thuringia for its novel opto-electronic probe card for testing PIC wafers. Not quite 100 applications were received by STIFT Thüringen this year. Jenoptik convinced the expert jury with its well-thought-out approach to solving the increasing demand for photonic technologies in the electronics and semiconductor industry.