"Microcomputer Controlled Automatic Wafer Test System using IEEE-4888"

June 1983


Here are scanned thesis pages.

  1. Thesis by Karl Grabe B.E. for the Master of Engineering Science degree.
  2. Supervisor: Mr Bill Lane MAsc
  3. Microelctronics Research Centre (NMRC)
  4. University College Cork Ireland

The masters involved taking a manual wafer prober, TAC 1200 pictured on the left, and adding a microcontroller & electronics so it could be controlled over GPIB from an Apple ][ computer using the BASIC programming lanuage. The original prober had thumb wheel switches where the x & y dimensions of the die could be intered. The prober could then be stepped from one die to the next manually. The project allowed the prober to be moved under Apple ][ control. Each die to be examined automatically, via a relay matrix, and electrical charactheristics extracted from the prober via GPIB for analysis on the Apple ][. Another MSC student, Eddie Edmond, from my class did the parameteer extraction hardware & sofware.Ann Collins did the typing. Eddie's thesis is titled "Micro Processor Driven Test Equipment under IEEE - 488 Control".

It was undertaken in the NMRC, Lee Maltings. The maltings building were being coverted for use by the NMRC at the time so the project was undertakein in the small house at the front - the one facing the mercy hospital. The Apple ][ had a GPIB card fitted to allow communication over the IEEE-4888 bus. The micrcontroller was a 6800. The development kit was rather large, if felt like it belonged in the military, and the diskettes were 7" (?). Bill Lane was my supervisor and Swerre Lindolm had some input also. Gerry Wrixon was in charge of the NMRC. Other students and staff in the NMRC at that time included John Ryan, Ahood, Aidan Coffey (of Toucan fame) on the Applecon, John Rea (mechanics), Ted O'Shea (test), Sean McCarthy, John Barret,


Photos of NMRC (now Tyndall National Institute - UCC) in 1983 to follow 'later'...