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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® card for PIC wafer level tests 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.

A step ahead with Jenoptik

The UFO Probe® card allows simultaneous testing of electronic and optical functions for the first time – i.e. ICs and PICs – with just one test card. What's special about this case is that both work on existing test infrastructure. Furthermore, the UFO Probe® card from Jenoptik does not require each chip to be set up individually. This saves a lot of time.
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New Jenoptik UFO Probe® Vertical

ufo probe card vertical in detail

The consistent further development of the patented technology expands the possibilities of optical coupling and, with the new UFO Probe® Vertical version, enables parallel functional tests of optical as well as electrical components on chips using vertical needle technology from established test card manufacturers. 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 the entire wavelength range from 1260 to 1625 nanometres used in the telecommunications and data communications sector
  • Provides polarization preservation for individual or all optical channels
  • Contacting of up to 6000 bond pads/ of bondpads with dimensions down to 35 microns (depending on the needle type, even more)
  • Also possible solder bumps and copper pillars
  • Smallest addressable pitch of the electrical contacts in the range of 40 to 80 micro
  • Lower and more uniform contact resistance in the range of 0.2 to 1.0 ohms (depending on the probe type)

For more technical details and specifications check out the datasheet here.

Have a closer look to the UFO Probe® Vertical


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

Ufo probe card details

Detailed view of a built-in probe card

The UFO Probe® card is intended to be used 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. The handling of the UFO Probe® card is similar to that of electrical test cards, so existing 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 scanning
  • Optical concept compensates prober alignment tolerances
  • Use of proven needle technology (partnership with test card manufacturers)
  • Standard interface to wafer prober can be implemented

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

Detailed Product Information

For more information please click.

Hybrid technology platform

UFO Probe® Card allows a simultaneous testing of ICs and PICs for an increased yield and reduced testing time.
  • Combines optical and electrical probing
  • Optical module for multiple optical DUT interfaces or multi-DUT tests.
  • Alignment insensitive optical coupling for vertical emitting PICs
  • Cantilever and vertical needle setup as electrical interface to the DUT/ Utilize proven needle technology
For more information please click.

Precise touchdowns save valuable time

UFO Probe® Card´s optical concept compensates prober alignment tolerances to reduce valuable time.
  • RX, TX, alignment channel and comprehensive electrical tests in one single touchdown
  • 1x alignment per batch, no additional alignment per chip
For more information please click.

Relies on existing infrastructure

Enables you to take the next step integrating new technologies as Photonics Integrated Circiuts (PICs) by providing a testing solution that:
  • Works on existing wafer probers and test equipment
  • Can be operated by the same personnel as for conventional electronic testing.
  • Requires no additional effort (training, system adjustment)
  • Design changes to other interfaces possible

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.

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

Enrico Piechotka

Global Product Group Manager

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