Intrinsic Quality’s Flash Programming Station – IQPS Revealed

September 25, 2014

Flexible Parallel Programming Fits High Volume Manufacturing

Intrinsic Quality’s Flash Programming Station can substantially reduce manufacturing costs.

Background

Medium to high volume manufactures are pressed to reduce manufacturing costs while retaining maximum flexibility.  One process step in manufacturing a microcontroller based printed circuit board assembly is getting correct firmware into the flash memory of the microcontroller.  There are several options for this so called flashing of the micro, each with advantages and disadvantages.

 

One of the process techniques often selected is In System Programming (ISP).  ISP refers to flashing the micro after it has been assembled onto its circuit board.  Using ISP has the advantage of last minute programming which provides desired flexibility.  ISP also eliminates the extra cost of buying preprogrammed parts.  ISP can be integrated into the production process either by adding the programming to a production tester or adding a separate process step.

 

When production volumes increase, the beat rate, takt of the production line becomes a critical issue.  Often production test (ICT or Functional) struggles to keep pace with a balanced line.  Flashing a sizeable file into the micro can be a time consuming process, so adding the programming time to already stressed production testers spells trouble.

 

Flash Programming Station Features:

Having a separate process step requires a dedicated programming station.  The features necessary at this station have a commonality with features at each of the manufacturing steps.

  • Setup and change-over should be quickly and easily accomplished by factory personnel.
  • The use of the equipment by line operators should be intuitive and require a minimum of training.
  • The programming and handling operation must be less than the takt to keep pace with line beat rate.
  • The equipment must be durable and easily maintained.
  • Addition of new boards, devices or firmware must be easily accommodated
  • The cost of the equipment should be modest
  • The equipment should be able to program various devices from various manufacturers with a common programming API.

 

Intrinsic Quality’s IQPS Programming Station effortlessly meets all of these requirements:

Introducing the IQ Programming Station:

 

TIQPShe architecture of the IQPS is specifically designed to meet the requirements for cost effective, high reliability and versatile manufacturing equipment.  The concept is simple.  Use a Windows PC, a high quality fixture receiver with interchangeable bed of nails fixtures, and couple this to a powerful universal ISP programmer.  The programmer, the station sensors and displays and the DUT will require proper power and control so the IQPS adds power supplies, switching, measurement and sourcing so that the final station has the resources necessary to do the job.

 

Call Intrinsic Quality today to discuss how our Engineering Team can respond to your needs: (847) 258-5598

 

 

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