BPM Microsystems announces the sale of another Automated Programming System to an Original Equipment Manufacturer. “This is fantastic news and an especially strong sale considering the economic backdrop right now,” says William White, founder and CEO of BPM Microsystems. The second system is a testament to the first machine purchased a little over a year ago. This US-based company creates power systems solutions for a worldwide customer base. “They liked the flexibility and productivity they achieved from the first machine. They bought a second machine for another factory so they can have the same capability there,” says Mr. White.
The second 3901 APS was purchased for another location, enabling them to have the same capability in both factories. The 3901 Automated Programmer has a maximum throughput of 1,088 devices per hour with four 9th Generation Sites (can program up to 16 devices concurrently). The 3901 is billed as the “The Low-Cost Automated Programmer with on-the-fly Vision Centering and True Universal Support,” achieving the lowest programming cost per device, without sacrificing versatility and performance. The 3901 is offered in a variety of bundled configurations that support price-competitive markets while providing features and reliability unavailable from competitors’ systems. Like all BPM Automated Systems, the 3901 comes standard with BPWin process control software, BPM.NCRYPT (cybersecurity), WhisperTeach™, and CyberOptics© vision alignment.
Unlike other cybersecurity solutions that are expensive and inflexible, BPM offers a range of options based on your particular needs. BPM.NCRYPT can integrate with your existing security systems and can be customized to the unique requirements of the project. It’s scalable: no requirement for a separate HSM for each automated system; One HSM (or secure server) can support several BPM high-speed programming systems. Most of all, it’s affordable: BPM does not charge per device, and all BPM automated systems are enabled to support encryption.
Patented WhisperTeach™ automated Z-Height teaching is ideal for fast, reliable set-ups. In addition, WhisperTeach™ eliminates common Z-height errors such as miss picks, miss place, and socket continuity flaws.
Very small devices such as WLCSP, SOT, and DFN have very low mass. Legacy teaching methods rely on operator skill and vacuum to determine the pick location. When teaching Z with a vacuum, parts often “jump” up to the nozzle, resulting in an inaccurate Z axis pick location. Because automated systems are extremely consistent, a less-than-perfect pick height location will cause pick and place errors, dropped parts, cracked parts, and continuity errors. Damaged devices may pass initial inspection, but could lead to premature failure in the field. WhisperTeach™ eliminates all of these failures by accurately teaching the pick position to within 15 microns of accuracy.
The CyberOptics© LNC120 camera is used for component auto measure (fast set-ups) and on-the-fly alignment for maximum first pass yield and throughput. With component auto measure and precision alignment, components as small as 0402 resistors can be aligned with fine precision. Unlike our competitor’s on-the-fly cameras, BPM’s CyberOptics camera has twice the resolution, allowing for faster, more precise auto-correction for the highest quality at the fastest throughput. Above all, it allows the 3901, 3928, and BPM310 to handle the smallest chip-scale package (1.0mm x 0.5mm) to the largest fine-pitch QFP (34x34mm).
BPM manufactures all its systems in their ISO 9001:2015 certified plant located in Houston, Texas, and its products carry the CE Mark. To learn how BPM makes device programming easy, fast and affordable, go to bpmmicro.com/device-programmers/.
Bring Programming In-House | See BPM 3901 APS | Device Programmers from BPM
Nga Nguyen began working for BPM in July of 1997. She currently is the Lead Electronic Rework Assembler in BPM’s manufacturing plant. She solders at a high level of expertise, with exacting attention to detail, and comes up with innovative solutions for the various production teams.
Some of her day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Diagnosing problems and repairing a variety of complex electronic and computer equipment
- Troubleshoot modules; determine appropriate repair and parts needed based on information from users and evaluation of equipment; order and maintain stock of repair parts, equipment, and supplies. Integrate electronic equipment to accommodate user needs; Work with the DSR team to modify and determine the needs and users of the equipment.
- Advise users on equipment and installation needs
And much more.
“Loyal, precise, efficient, team-oriented: that’s how I’d describe Ms. Nga,” says Jon Bondurant, Chief Operations Officer at BPM. “She is a huge asset for keeping production and customer orders moving. All around, an employee all companies would be lucky to have.”
Join us in celebrating Ms. Nga– she, and the whole team at BPM, make equipment that accurately programs billions of devices in millions of products worldwide.
If you’ve sent any BPM equipment back for calibration or repair, chances are, Mike Dickens was instrumental in bringing it back to spec. Mike came to work at BPM back in 1997 shortly after graduating from a local Houston College. He has long and varied experiences in the electronics manufacturing industry for over 27 years. Mike is currently the Lead Production Test Technician and Lead RMA Repair Tech at BPM Microsystems.
Other interests include guitar design and repair with his side-hustle, Luthier Musical instrument Design & Repair, which he’s been doing for a little over 10 years. He’s currently repairing a few old guitars in his collection. Mike is also an artist and occasional inventor.
The BPM Flashstream project team from 2007
“I’d like to personally thank Mike for his dedication to BPM,” says Jon Bondurant, BPM’s Chief Operations Officer. “His reliability, knowledge, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail make him uniquely suited for the role he’s grown into over the last 25 years.”
Join us in celebrating Mike– he’s a valuable team member at BPM. To find out more about Mike, check him out on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-dickens-4a6a3929/
A Brief History
BPM provides device programmers and accessories to upload custom programming to semiconductor devices. Founded in 1985, BPM Microsystems serves more than 2,000 companies in over 49 countries, including programming centers, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), contract and semiconductor manufacturers. BPM device programmers offer high-performance device handling, advanced serialization, and quality control, meeting the highest programming and cybersecurity standards for automotive, aerospace, medical, industrial, and mobile device applications. BPM’s intelligently designed systems deliver the lowest programming cost per device.
Back in 1985 in a dorm room at Rice University, Bill White founded BP Microsystems (later BPM Microsystems). He couldn’t find a decent chip programmer for a class project he was working on, so he made his own. He started to sell the EP-1, an E/EPROM programmer, locally and then by mail order; the rest is history. BPM still builds all of its systems in its ISO:9001 plant in Houston, Texas.
BPM device programmers serve the world with billions and billions of accurately programmed devices in thousands of products (everything from thermometers to infotainment systems) by bringing compelling programming systems to market.
Learn More About What We Do
BPM designs and manufactures universal programming systems and supports them with algorithms and socket adapters (software and hardware) to program specific devices. BPM’s catalog of supported devices is in excess of 70,000, including both legacy and cutting-edge technologies. Newer and faster versions are continually added on an almost daily basis. BPM serves electronics manufacturers around the world including OEM, ODM, EMS, and programming centers. Industries that utilize BPM programming solutions include Automotive, Healthcare, Aerospace/Defense, Industrial, IoT/Industry 4.0, and Cybersecurity.
BPM has “generations” of products with specific site technology. The “site” is the magic of BPM programmers, and sockets/algos make them the most “universal” of device programmers. Universal, as opposed to single-use, allows the systems to be configured to support thousands of devices on hundreds of different socket adapters. BPM pioneered socket adapter technology with active circuitry that delivers clean signal integrity and high yield.
The latest generation of BPM sites is 10th Gen. 10th Generation site technology offers the broadest support in the industry at unsurpassed programming speeds.
The newest Automated Programmer, the BPM310, comes with up to six 10th Gen sites providing full universal support for UFS, eMMC HS400, MCU, NAND, and Serial Flash, at incredible speeds with up to 48 devices programmed concurrently. It is the most capable programmer in a small footprint. For UFS 2.1, each site can program eight devices at a time, at up to 440 MB/second read and 201 MB/second write (industry best).
Ranges of Device Programmers
Programmable devices are becoming more ubiquitous. More products than ever before require some kind of customization to add functionality. BPM makes device programmers that focus on quality and reliability. Some products, such as satellites, require just a handful of each device programmed per month (or year); the cost for just one of those chips (such as an anti-fuse FPGA) can cost upwards of $100,000! When the cost of failure is that high, aerospace companies turn to BPM. Other companies need millions of programmed devices. BPM makes Automated systems that are fast, easy to set up/change over, and reliable, with available automotive-level support verification (such as coplanarity test to confirm pin and ball grid array integrity).
BPM continues to support many of its legacy programmers (some for more than 20 years) and adds additional supported devices on a weekly basis. When new devices are needed, BPM quotes hardware and software support. Customers with current Hardware Support contracts can make complementary 24/7 service calls (free for one year with a new purchase). If machines experience issues, field service technicians with decades of experience and/or factory-trained service technicians are available for local support worldwide, usually within 48 hours.
What’s the Market
BPM serves both legacy and emerging markets. For instance, UFS and eMMC devices with massive memories (measured in Gigabytes) are becoming more common in infotainment, navigation, autonomous vehicles, military applications, etc. The universal nature of BPM programmers means one system can program multiple different devices (although not simultaneously). Some competitive systems require two different site technologies in order to cover their full device list.
The legacy market is alive and well, especially in aerospace/defense. Many contractors and military branches, such as the US Navy, rely on BPM legacy (7th Generation) programmers. They’ve spent millions on qualifying solutions, and continue to purchase this proven 17-year-old technology from BPM.
Devices are trending to smaller, denser (more data) packages. This makes off-line programming (as opposed to in-circuit or at-test programming) the scalable choice. To program more chips, you add site and socket capacity, additional shifts, or additional systems (or a combination). Smaller packages (less than 3mm x 3mm) are particularly challenging. BPM systems have capabilities that are only available on larger competitive systems. All BPM automated programming systems come with WhisperTeach™ Auto-Z Teach (for fast, easy set-ups/changeovers) and CyberOptic cameras for component auto measure (fast set-ups) and on-the-fly alignment for maximum first pass yield and throughput.
Supply chain shortages, which first started in mid-2020 as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, continue to plague consumer, automotive, and electronics manufacturers. Semi-houses are building new factories and expanding existing facilities to meet demand but will take years before they can catch up. Programmable devices require value-added programming to make them fully functional; it’s not just a matter of receiving an order of chips– those devices need programming and installation on circuit boards. Delays in even one area can ripple through, causing additional delays downstream.
Many companies are looking at in-house device programming as a means of gaining more control over their supply chain. For companies that have added programming in-house, they are also finding greater control of their intellectual property. Small changes in firmware versioning are now possible for rapid prototyping and implementation. Above all, device programming that was previously a cost center quickly becomes a profit center, as a return on initial investment can be realized in a few months, not years.
In late 2021, BPM announced the release of its 10th Generation programming technology platform and the BPM310 Automated Programming System. The 10th Generation offers the industry’s fastest programming times for UFS, eMMC, Flash, and MCUs with twice as many sockets per site as its predecessor. The BPM310 offers a capacity of up to 48 sockets, automotive-level quality, and reliability in a small footprint. 10th Gen delivers the fastest UFS programming performance in the industry achieving up to 440MB/second Read and 201MB/second Write. First-part time is accelerated because UFS programming can commence without pausing for data to download.
“Our engineering team has done an amazing job creating the most powerful universal programmer in the industry. Unlike competitive products, our system offers true universal support including CSP, Flash, MCUs, eMMC, and UFS with up to 8 sockets per site to deliver unbeatable system value,” says William White, founder, and CEO of BPM Microsystems. “The BPM310 is now our flagship product with the greatest capacity, flexibility, features, reliability, and smallest footprint in our product line.”
The BPM310 leverages much of the socket adapter and algorithm development currently available on its 9th Generation systems. And like all 9th Gen automated device programmers, the BPM310 continues to offer ease of operation and fast setup with award-winning BPWin process control software and patented WhisperTeach™. WhisperTeach™ automatically teaches the critical Z-height of each pick/place location with 15-micron accuracy. Accurate automated teaching is vital for small packages due to fundamental human limitations. Plus WhisperTeach™ saves an average of 83% of the time required for the job setup compared to traditional methods while increasing quality and yield.
The Near Future
Supply chain issues, especially for programmable devices, will continue to plague manufacturers for perhaps the next two years. In an effort to reduce costs and shorten lead times, BPM sees continued growth in offline programming. Security and IP protection will continue to drive companies to take more control of their most valuable assets: their intellectual property. By physically securing IP, competitors are less likely to reverse engineer (or flat-out steal) their designs. Other advantages of programming in-house are improved quality, reliability, and more flexibility by keeping programmed devices to just-in-time inventory levels (not possible with outsourcing).
Device Search | Bring Programming In-House | How to Program In-House
BPM Microsystems is pleased to announce the sale of an Automated Programming System to an existing Tier 1 Automotive OEM customer. “This is fantastic news and an especially strong sale considering the economic backdrop right now,” says William White, founder, and CEO of BPM Microsystems. “We love repeat orders– even when the first machine was so good it took over 15 years to replace.”
Because of non-disclosure, BPM cannot divulge too much but can say the purchase was made by an Original Equipment Manufacturer that provides high-reliability automotive systems. They have been using a BPM 4X Automated System for over 15 years. The company is augmenting it with BPM’s 3928 with four 9th Generation Sites that can program up to 16 devices concurrently. The smaller footprint 3928 has a maximum throughput of 1,432 Devices Per Hour (nearly 30% greater mechanical DPH and more than double the maximum socket capacity of their 6th Generation system). Some of their legacy device programming will continue to be produced on their BPM 4610; a hallmark of the typical return on investment achievable on the BPM automated programming systems.
3928: Tier 1 Automotive Solution
The 3928 comes standard with WhisperTeach™ automated Z-Height teaching for fast, reliable set-ups, and the CyberOptics LNC120 camera for component auto measure (fast set-ups) and on-the-fly alignment for maximum first pass yield and throughput. The 3928 is outfitted with the TM-50 Tape Loading system and the latest 3000-Series Fiber Laser, capable of producing machine-readable QR codes and barcodes for ultimate component traceability. Laser systems generate dust (a bad thing in an SMT environment); the BPM laser system is equipped with a two-stage dust collection system that is second-to-none in offline programmers.
“Customers have choices when they buy systems. Their vote of confidence says a lot about the productivity and quality they achieve and our ability to keep them happy,” says Mr. White.
BPM manufactures all its systems in their ISO 9001:2015 certified plant located in Houston, Texas, and its products carry the CE Mark. To learn how BPM makes device programming easy, fast and affordable, go to bpmmicro.com/device-programmers.