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New challenges for PIC testing

Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are the chips of the future.

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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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, photo diodes, MEMS mirrors and PCM structures.

Easy integration into existing test infrastructure

Detailed view of a built-in probe card

Whether if you use a cantilever or vertical version of the UFO Probe® Card, it 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 probers can be easily implemented in the design of the probe cards. The operation of these novel probe cards is similar to that of electrical onces, so existing personnel won't need extensive extra training.

UFO Probe® card allows parallel IC and PIC testing

functional scheme ufo probe card
  • Monolithic optical module
  • Orientation-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 sampler can be implemented: e.g. European card format

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

The modern world needs optical data communication and solutions for efficient manufacturing

Do you have any questions? Our experts are happy to help.

Enrico Piechotka

Global Product Group Manager

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