Konrad Technologies New Multiple Parallel Test

March 31, 2016

There is something new in ICT.  Really!  Konrad Technologies has introduced a new flexible architecture that enables multiple parallel test heads.  But even more, the architecture allows for flexible configuration – the number of test heads can change without changing hardware.

Konrad’s KT 501 module implements a complete analog ICT instrument on a single PXI card. Once connected to a switching matrix it becomes a versatile Manufacturing Defects Analyzer (MDA).

KT-PXI-501A standard full size PXI card cage provides 18 slots.  Assuming two slots for the PC, each of the remaining 16 slots can be filled with a KT 501.  Using the Konrad ABEX concept, the front end of the KT 501 can be equipped with a 4 X 86 switch matrix.  So an analog ICT system can be built with 16 independent 86 pin test heads.

But with the ABEX concept each of the 86 pins can be made available to any of the other test heads.  So the above system could be reconfigured with software to be an 8 headed 172 pin system.  Or 4 headed 344 pin system.  Or without changing hardware a single headed system with 1376 pins.

Of course the system can be configured with fewer KT-501’s in a variety of configurations.  With an 8 headed configuration the other 8 slots can be filled with a 172 X 4 switch card.  Now the system can range from an 8 head  X 258 pins  to 1 head X 2064 pins.

Also worth noting that all of this is done in the PXI environment where exists a very diverse  array of functional instrumentation that can easily be muxed to the same pins.

New and still more!  Intrinsic Quality, LLC. is now a USA Support Center for Konrad Technologies, offering Sales, Tech Support and expert integration of Konrad’s complete line of Test Solutions.  Visit Intrinsic Quality Today!

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Flash Device Programming: When Free isn’t Free

March 31, 2016

Sometimes an effective plan for production Flash programming gets created. For the high volume manufacturer, a variety of solutions are available. But few options exist for lower volume production. High volume solutions are simply too expensive for mid volume or low volume/high mix production. For low volumes, the implementation of production Flashing often gets minimal planning. The assumption is its easy and virtually free.

Programming KlugeOn low volume/high mix production lines, this problem is often addressed with several low cost ad hoc stations that use ‘free” programming pods provided by device manufacturers. Engineers typically will cobble together a set of existing equipment, computers and peripherals to create a programming tool for a solitary task in the test process. Typically one of these stations uses a PC, some cabling and a low cost pod. Sometimes these pods are acquired from the manufacturer, sometimes from a vendor such as P&E or Segger or other brand. Usually they are dedicated to a single application.

But station integration is still required. With the minimal planning these solutions are often considered near free. As we examine this process further, we see that “free” has some real and significant costs:
•Set up is expensive.

 

Integrating and setting up the programming station usually requires several hours of an engineer’s time.
•Costs are duplicated.

Since the Flash Device Programming solution is typically created for a specific project, other projects require their own sites. In a typical factory there are often several such sites – all different, but each similar in cost.
•Floor space is wasted.

•Multiple Programming Sites Take Up Room

Any given site is usually idle.
•Excess operator training is required.

Since each site utilizes fragmented and often obsolete equipment, and has a different procedure, production start-up requires additional operator instruction.
•Rushed solutions are barely suitable for a production environment.

Cabling and inputs are flimsy and may cause complete system failure if the station needs to be relocated.

Operational Procedures are half baked.

Documentation is lacking.

Tech support is hard to find.

Downtime is too frequent.

Mods to firmware are awkward and time consuming.
•Awkward procedures can impact quality.

There is a better way. The SMH FlashRunner remains the market leader providing manufacturers a powerful engine for the creation of effective programming stations.