by BPM Webmaster | Feb 28, 2023 | Case Study, Product Comparison, Technology
Semiconductor devices are used in a wide range of electronic applications, from smartphones to industrial machinery. Programming these devices is a crucial step in their manufacturing process, allowing them to perform specific functions. There are several methods to program semiconductor devices, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
In-System Programming (ISP)
Bed-of-Nails fixture connects the PCB to the final test
In-system programming (ISP) is a method that enables semiconductor devices to be programmed after installation on a circuit board, without requiring removal. This programming method allows for easy updates, and flexibility in the programming process, and avoids device disruption. However, ISP requires dedicated programming hardware or software to interface with the device, which may be slower than other methods. Moreover, when the programming process exceeds a few seconds, it can create bottlenecks, slowing down the production line and making it harder to scale. Learn more here.
In-Circuit Programming (ICP)
In-circuit programming (ICP) is a method that enables semiconductor devices to be programmed while they are in use, without requiring removal. This programming method allows for updates without disrupting device operation, flexibility in the programming process, and avoids device removal. However, ICP requires dedicated programming hardware or software to interface with the device, which may be slower than other methods. Learn more here.
Offline Parallel Programming
Offline programming is a method that enables multiple semiconductor devices to be programmed simultaneously. This programming method is faster than ISP and ICP, allows for a high volume of devices to be programmed at once, and can be easily scaled up. Offline programming requires a dedicated socket adapter with a custom algorithm for each device type. For instance, a socket receptacle can accept similar device types from different manufacturers (for example, a BGA(153), but will require a custom algo for each device to ensure it meets the specs for that device).
Automated Offline Programming
Automated programming is a subset of offline programming that uses automated equipment to program semiconductor devices. This programming method is faster than development kits and allows for a high volume of devices to be programmed simultaneously. Moreover, automated programming allows for individual device programming, and is more easily scaled by adding additional resources and shifts.
Device programming kits are tools used to program individual semiconductor devices. This programming method allows for individual device programming and prototyping. However, development kits can be slower than other methods and require manual device handling, which can be time-consuming and error-prone. If a prototype goes into full production, other methods should be explored, which will require first article proofing for the production programmer.
In conclusion, choosing the right programming method for your programmable devices depends on your specific needs and requirements. Consider the pros and cons of each method before making a decision. Ultimately, selecting the right programming method can save you time and costs while ensuring your devices function properly.
|In-System Programming (ISP)
||Programming a device after it has been installed on a circuit board, without needing to remove it
||Allows for easy updates in the field, avoids device removal, and provides flexibility in the programming process
||Requires dedicated programming hardware or software to interface with the device, which may be slower than other methods
|In-Circuit Programming (ICP)
||Programming a device while it is in use, without needing to remove it
||Allows for updates without disrupting device operation, avoids device removal, and provides flexibility in the programming process
||Requires dedicated programming hardware or software to interface with the device, which may be slower than other methods.
|Offline Parallel Programming
||Simultaneously programming multiple devices with the same programming sequence using specialized equipment
||Efficient for large-scale production, automated to increase throughput, and reduces programming errors
||Requires specialized equipment that may be relatively expensive, and less flexible for smaller production runs
||Dedicated hardware and software used to program a single device at a time, typically used for low-volume production or prototyping
||Provides a high degree of control and flexibility over the programming process, can program a wide range of devices, suitable for low-volume production or prototyping
||Requires dedicated hardware and software that is typically inexpensive, and time-consuming for large-scale production or programming of multiple devices with different programming sequences
Note: The percentages provided are rough estimates and may vary depending on the specific industry and application.
by BPM Webmaster | Feb 28, 2023 | Announcements, Automotive, News
Global SMT & Packaging Magazine is reporting that Flex, a leading global manufacturer, has opened a new learning center in Jalisco, Mexico to provide advanced manufacturing skills training to over 2,000 employees annually. This initiative will support the company’s automotive operations and accelerate the next generation of mobility. The learning center offers training on surface mount technology, robotic assembly, and automated optical inspection, enabling employees to advance their skills and foster a learn-and-adapt environment. With a commitment to investing in its employees, Flex is positioning itself to enable innovation and drive growth in the automotive industry.
To read the full article on how Flex is investing in automotive operations, click here.
More News from Global SMT
US-led semiconductor alliance setting up ‘early warning system’ to protect supply chains
by BPM Webmaster | Feb 22, 2023 | How To, New Device Support, News, Technology
Unlocking Faster Turnaround Times
Device Support Engineers are crucial to the development of accurate and reliable programming support for programmable devices. Their role involves researching the device’s architecture, understanding its programming requirements, and developing algorithms to program the device. Here’s a closer look at the key responsibilities and skills required of DS engineers:
Responsibilities of DS Engineers
- Research device specifications: DS engineers must research and understand the specifications of the device to determine its programming requirements. They must analyze the device’s architecture and functionality to develop accurate and reliable support.
- Develop algorithms for programming devices: DS engineers use their knowledge of programming languages, scripting, and automation tools to develop algorithms for programming semiconductor devices. They write code optimized for performance and accuracy based on the device’s architecture and functionality.
- Collaborate with other teams: DS engineers work closely with hardware and software engineers to troubleshoot issues and ensure that the device functions correctly. They collaborate to ensure that the device meets performance specifications.
Skills Required of DS Engineers
- Programming proficiency: DS engineers must be proficient in programming languages such as C, C++, Python, etc. They must be familiar with scripting and automation tools to optimize the programming process.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills: DS engineers must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills to identify the root cause of issues that arise during the programming process. They must be able to develop solutions to fix problems (“bugs”) quickly.
- Communication and collaboration skills: DS engineers must have excellent communication and collaboration skills to work effectively with other teams. They must be able to communicate complex technical information effectively and work collaboratively to ensure the device functions correctly.
Investing in DS Engineers
Companies that invest in developing their device support engineers can develop accurate and reliable support faster and more efficiently, leading to a competitive advantage. With new devices and technologies constantly emerging, DS engineers must continuously stay up-to-date with the latest programming languages, tools, and hardware platforms to adapt quickly to new development environments and technologies.
BPM has invested heavily in developing its DS engineer teams, doubling resources over the last 2 years. Becoming proficient in this role can take months of on-the-job training, working with other more experienced engineers. BPM’s investment is working: development times for average complexity projects have dropped from 10 or more weeks to an average of 2 to 4 weeks!
Device support engineers play a critical role in developing accurate and reliable support for programmable devices. They must have a deep understanding of the device’s architecture and functionality, as well as proficiency in programming languages, analytical and problem-solving skills, and communication and collaboration skills. Companies that invest in developing their DS engineers can develop accurate and reliable support faster and more efficiently, leading to a competitive advantage in the market.
Mastering eMMC Device Programming | White Paper: Semiconductor Device programming | Production-Level Support from BPM Microsystems | Apply for BPM Software Engineer
by BPM Webmaster | Feb 20, 2023 | How To, Video
How Automated Device Programmers Make Media Transfer Effortless
Automated device programmers are changing the way we work with semiconductor devices. These machines are versatile, efficient, and highly accurate, making them an essential tool in the manufacturing and maintenance of electronic devices.
One of the primary uses of automated device programmers is to program semiconductor devices such as microcontrollers and memory chips. The process of programming devices with automated device programmers is quick, accurate, and reliable, making it the preferred method for many manufacturers and technicians.
In addition to programming devices, automated device programmers can also be used for transferring devices between different media formats. In the manufacturing process of electronic devices, components are often supplied in tubes or trays and need to be transferred to tape media for use in the production line. Automated device programmers can perform this task quickly and efficiently, making the process seamless.
Similarly, in the maintenance of electronic devices, components may need to be transferred from tape media into trays for testing or repair. Automated device programmers can transfer components between different media formats with ease, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.
Automated device programmers are designed to be user-friendly, making them accessible to people with little technical knowledge. They are also highly reliable, detecting and correcting errors during the programming and transferring process.
In conclusion, automated device programmers have revolutionized the way we work with semiconductor devices. They are versatile machines that can be used for both programming and transferring devices between different media formats. Their accuracy, efficiency, and reliability make them essential tools in the semiconductor industry.
by BPM Webmaster | Jan 31, 2023 | Announcements, Events, Trade Shows
San Diego, CA – January 26, 2023 – BPM Microsystems, a leading provider of automated programming systems, has completed a fantastic week at the APEX Expo 2023 in San Diego. The company reports that the event was a great success, with several new leads and strong connections with existing customers.
“We had an amazing time at APEX Expo 2023,” says Penny Santhanam, Customer Care Director for BPM Microsystems. “We are thrilled with the visitors, customers, and machine demos we had, and we are already looking forward to next year’s event in Anaheim, California.” After many years in San Diego, APEX is moving to the Los Angeles area for the next few years.
The company also credits the success of the event to the expanded team at the booth, which allowed for more engaging and informative demonstrations of their latest offering, the BPM310 Automated Programming System. Additionally, the prize wheel helped to generate leads by giving attendees the opportunity to win a variety of prizes, including USB battery packs, 32 Gig USB Thumb Drives, stress balls, and more. Everyone had the chance to win the grand prize of a travel drone.
BPM Microsystems would like to thank all of the attendees who stopped by the booth and for their interest in their products. They look forward to the opportunity to continue working with new and existing customers to help them achieve their programming needs.
For more information on BPM Microsystems and the BPM310 Automated Programming System, please visit their website at bpmmicro.com/bpm310.