Test & Measurement

Flying prober accomodates big dimension boards

28th May 2021
Mick Elliott

Starting with the basics and the mechanical designs associated with probe cards and their construction, the very first constraint a user may notice is the size of the cards themselves. Traditional flying probe test area sizes can be a limiting factor, so much so, the probe cards don’t even fit in the test area. To meet this requirement, Seica has developed a flying prober, named the Pilot V8 XL Next>, to accommodate boards with sizes up to 810 cm x 675 cm (31.88 x 26.5 inches).

Traditional flying probe test area sizes can be a limiting factor, so much so, the probe cards don’t even fit in the test area.

To meet this market requirement, Seica developed a flying prober, named the Pilot V8 XL Next>, to accommodate boards with sizes up to 810 cm x 675 cm (31.88 x 26.5 inches).

However, the area of the board may not be the only limiting factor, as board thickness and weight are also a concern.

Board construction easily exceeds 50 layers in most cases, and the boards will not meet traditional thicknesses of 0.093-inch to 0.125-inch. 

The Seica “XL” structure can accommodate up to a standard of 7 mm0” (7 mm0.276”) with options for even larger thickness.

One benefit of Seica’s architecture is the vertical nature of mounting the unit under test.

If this was a horizontal flying probe system and as the board size/span increases, the weight would increase in a corresponding fashion resulting in bow and deflection of the UUT (unit under test).

The vertical architecture of the testers reduces significantly the bow and deflection, allowing for faster speed and accuracy of the probing needles on the very small test points.

Tthe use of bottom side flying probe supports is  not required, or expensive jigs and shuttles that ultimately could inhibit test area for bottom side testing.

With the enhanced vertical clamping design, probe cards that exceed 15 pounds have been tested in this configuration.

The physical size of these probe and interface cards is not only large in some cases but their CAD data and component counts can be extensive. With very large CAD files and component counts exceeding 10,000 parts, the flying probe provider needs to have the latest personal computers and robust upfront easy to use CAD processing software.

The Pilot V8 XL Next> test system uses the VIVA>NEXT> platform that is available in a 32 and 64 bit version with a new graphical interface and a guided environment for an easy and quick test program creation. It is fully integrated with NI-VISA drivers and with third-party test management software. Since the customer manages the production and material flow through the MES software, the Seica Pilot V8 XL Next> can be connected to the customer MES (Manufacturing Execution System).

Through its proprietary Adapter, Seica can integrate all customer MES platforms.

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