In October 2020 Form Factor completed the acquisition of Boulder, Colorado-based High Precision Devices, Inc. (HPD), a respected supplier of scientific instruments, especially precision cryogenic instruments. The transaction makes HPD part of FormFactor, bolstering FormFactor’s capabilities, capacity, portfolio of products—and potential. Exciting times for FormFactor as the HPD approach is to work with top-flight researchers, engineers and scientific organizations to provide practical solutions from concept to fruition. HPD is imaginative, connected and knows how to deliver.
The key to any corporate acquisition is whether or not the product lines, services and cultures of the two companies are a good match. FormFactor’s acquisition of HPD is a great fit as HPD’s impressive range of precision cryogenic instruments, including chip-scale cryogenic probe systems and cryostats capable of extremely low temperatures, beautifully complement Form Factor’s existing line of cryogenic wafer probe systems and cryogenic engineering probes, expanding its market reach with cryostats for die and package testing and lower-temperature wafer probe capabilities.
HPD cryostats provide an alternative to more expensive and space consuming dilution refrigerators (DR). These Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerators (ADR) are great for applications that do not need the full power of a DR, but still require sub-Kelvin temperatures. HPD’s ADRs provide a faster, compact, and less costly path to temperatures a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. And the new Continuous ADRs (CADR) allow the cold to be maintained.
Leveraging the strength and scale of HPD and FormFactor together, a broad portfolio of ultra-low temperature test technologies can now be offered to enable scientific and industrial customers to tackle important societal challenges, solutions to which will benefit people around the world for generations to come. One such need that HPD/FormFactor are staring down is solving the data center energy crisis, solutions to which will contribute to the mitigation of climate change. Another need is realizing the astonishing possibilities of quantum computing, which is now being oriented toward real-world use in pharmaceutical, data security and other applications. Quantum computing, along with superconducting computing, are now experiencing tremendous growth and will likely have profound impacts on various emerging technologies and, ultimately, in our everyday lives. HPD’s technical team brings highly specialized skills and know-how to address the unique test challenges for these emerging technologies.
Long before these technologies mentioned above become reality, years of development is required for many of the essential components. Conceptualization, prototyping, and refinement of these superconducting devices can only be performed at cryogenic temperatures. HPD 4 K cryogenic probe stations and millikelvin Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (ADR) research cryostats serve a vital role in many of these endeavors. As a result, through its acquisition of HPD, FormFactor has positioned itself to be an important player in the development of a host of forward-looking technologies that will improve quality of life in the decades ahead.