SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

What's happening at Everett Charles Technologies in 2008?

Mar 25, 2008

As a company we always pay close attention to the Telecommunications Handheld Market. The handheld market will certainly be the backbone for our universal grid sales in 2008. Some of the most complex PCB technology we see is comprised in cell phone designs. More than half of our universal automated grids are currently utilized for handheld PCB testing. Our LM800 Octal Density machine is designed and marketed for HDI cell phone technology. Though we have seen only a handful of designs that are beyond our Picomat Quad Density capability, we see customer technology roadmaps with shrinking line and space geometries that are right in the wheelhouse for Octal density. Until the release of the LM800, many HDI manufactures were forced to use expensive fixture technology to address density. The LM800 now gives the industry a very cost effective universal fixture technology while fulfilling density needs for years to come. We look forward to a bright future with the LM800 platform, as we can market to the technology curve of the booming Telecom market.

We see a huge opportunity for us in the package and flex market. Historically, we approached this market with our traditional 16 head flying prober. Testing Flip Chip and CSP technology demands high accuracy and no witness marks. We knew to effectively meet the demands of package market, a new probe head design was essential. With the introduction of the S1, we can show a speed nearly double to the nearest competitor while achieving industry acceptable witness marking. The S1, with eight probes heads simultaneously testing package panels, is already warranting attention. We feel that the S1 will be especially suited for the package markets within Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

In an effort to reduce pre-mature failures of a PCB, we see many manufactures adding more stringent requirements to existing electrical test protocol. In 2008 we are cognizant of a growing market for ��Value Added Testing.�� The latter term refers to additional test methods that PCB manufactures can employ to increase user life of their product. One key example is utilizing Four Wire or Kelvin Based Testing. Kelvin measurement allows the user to measure resistance values well below 1 Ohm. In the Atg/LM prober a user can specify testing down to 1 mOhm resistance. The latter test will measure the true resistance of the trace by placing a shielded current and voltage source at each end of the network. One additional example of Value Added Testing is called Latent Defect Testing. A technique originally created by IBM, Latent Defect Testing uses Ohmic heating to measure voids, mouse bites or neck downs within a trace.

Under standard test protocol the latter flaws would go un-detected. These flaws could turn into pre-mature failures in the PCB�s final application. n summary, atg/LM will give our global customer additional test tools to make them more valuable to their end customer.

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