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Hybrid tech removes physical test points for ICT

Posted: 25 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:test? technology hybrid? physical points ICT?

Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced a limited access solution for in-circuit test (ICT) users that eliminates the need for physical test points. Part of Agilent's VTEP v2.0 Powered test suite, the Agilent Cover-Extend Technology is a hybrid between two established test methodologiesboundary scan and VTEP vectorless testin the electronic manufacturing industry.

Unlike traditional VTEP test, which requires physical test points on the printed-circuit-board assembly (PCBA) for the injection of test stimulus signals, the Cover-Extend relies on stimulus provided by boundary scan cells, which do not require physical test points.

Key benefits of the technology include improved test coverageCover-Extend can recover up to 50-percent node accessand a cost savings on fixturing. A typical factory using Cover-Extend on 30 lines can potentially save up to $500,000 per year, according to Agilent. Another advantage is strain relief on solder joints, resulting from fewer test probes needed underneath high-density ICs (e.g., BGAs), which reduce potential solder-joint damage due to excessive strain.

Agilent customers with valid software-upgrade contracts for the i3070 and VTEP-equipped fixtures can receive this new technology by purchasing an additional software license and a fully VTEP-compatible fixture hardware upgrade.

Although Cover-Extend pricing has not yet been finalized, Agilent expects it to be consistent with its other i3070 optional software in the range of $5,000 to $8000, depending on options. The additional hardware required will be consistent with current VTEP hardware prices.

Limited shipments of the product have begun. Full availability will be in the 2H.

- Gina Roos

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