APEX helps engineers contend with ever-denser PCBs
Test Measurement World Staff- June 1, 2010Design and test hardware and software combined with optical and x-ray inspection equipment at IPC APEX Expo. Offering the gamut of test inspection was TRI (Test Research Inc.), which displayed its end-to-end test systems for SMT manufacturing, including systems for each phase of the manufacturing process from SPI (solder paste inspection), to AOI (automated optical inspection), AXI (automated x-ray inspection), and ICT (in-circuit test).
Agilent Technologies showcased its Medalist i3070 Series 5 in-circuit tester, which boosts throughput and includes a power-monitoring circuit to protect ICs. Agilent also highlighted its i1000D low-cost digital in-circuit tester, and it exhibited the heretofore not highly publicized TS-5040 functional tester, which works with Agilent's TestExec SL 6.1 software.
In conjunction with Agilent, Aster Technologies introduced what it calls the first design-for-test software tool to combine electrical and mechanical analysis. The new tool consists of a "probe analyzer" enhancement to Aster's TestWay coverage-analysis tool. The probe analyzer is an interactive, rules-based routine designed to assist the layout engineer or test developer in identifying usable PCB (printed-circuit board) locations for physical access.
Texmac, the exclusive authorized distributor of Takaya flying probers in North America, demonstrated the Takaya APT-9411SL, which the company said is designed to test the large, technically advanced PCBs employed in US telecommunications, high-end-computing, and defense-electronics industries. Everett Charles Technologies debuted its ZOOM fixture, which is designed for ultra-fine-pitch probing of loaded PCBs and can test down to 24-mil (0.6-mm) centers and 15-mil diameter targets. Everett Charles also highlighted its MetriX probes for close-center probing of loaded PCBs.
Acculogic featured its FLS 980Dxi Flying Scorpion, a double-sided, 16-probe flying-probe system with 3-D probing, analog, digital, and boundary-scan test capability on all probes (top and bottom side). Goepel Electronic introduced new features designed for parallel execution of its VarioTAP processor emulation with its System Cascon boundary-scan software platform. Goepel also announced the development of VarioTAP model libraries for Xilinx FPGAs with integrated PowerPC cores.
Koh Young Technology highlighted its new Zenith 3-D AOI system, which offers true 3-D AOI through its ability to measure the z-axis profilometry of assembled PCB surfaces based on patented multi-frequency moiré technology. Nordson DAGE presented its XD7600NT100HP x-ray inspection system, which offers 100-nm feature recognition.
CyberOptics introduced the SE350 addition to its 3-D SPI system portfolio. The SE350 employs CyberOptics calibration-free sensor technology. SiFO Technology launched its Independence test-services program, under which the company, headquartered in Suzhou, China, targets US OEMs who employ contract manufacturers in China and other Asian countries to build their products. Also focusing on services, NBS showcased the portfolio of engineering and manufacturing services that it offers at its Santa Clara headquarters.
Aegis Software announced what it calls an industry-first OEM bundling agreement with Fuji America. Under this agreement, Fuji America will include Aegis NPI software for BOM (bill of materials), CAD, Gerber, and even scanned-board data conversion with each license of Fuji Flexa software. In addition, Aegis announced its software's selection and deployment as the global manufacturing process software for Sanmina-SCI.
Finally, 3M highlighted initiatives related to embedded capacitance material, used in backplanes, PCBs, modules, and chip packages to provide improved electrical performance, space reduction, electromagnetic interference reduction, and reliability improvement.