+1 (713) 688-4600 | Sales Toll-Free: (855) SELL BPM | 24/7 Service: +1 (832) 617-5702 info@bpmmicro.com
Select Page
BPM Microsystems Makes an Impact at SMTA International Trade Exhibition

BPM Microsystems Makes an Impact at SMTA International Trade Exhibition

BPM Microsystems Makes an Impact at SMTA International Trade Exhibition

BPM Microsystems, the industry leader in high-performance device programming and cybersecurity solutions, showcased its pioneering technologies at the recently concluded SMTA International Trade Exhibition, held on October 10-11 in Minneapolis.

BPM Microsystems’ booth attracted a diverse group of professionals, underscoring its wide-reaching appeal in the industry. Among the attendees who engaged with BPM were Process Engineers, Strategic Planning Managers, and Product Development Specialists from globally recognized electronic component suppliers and manufacturers. Senior Engineers from top automotive manufacturers and technology giants also expressed keen interest in BPM’s state-of-the-art solutions. It was noted that women were strongly represented, reflecting the inclusive nature of the industry and the event.

Colin Harper, Director of Product Management at BPM Microsystems, remarked, “We’re thrilled with the positive feedback and strong interest from a broad range of industry specialists. Participating in SMTA International not only allowed us to showcase our innovative solutions but also gave us the opportunity to engage and understand the evolving needs of our clients.”

In an exciting side event, BPM Microsystems also conducted a giveaway where attendees at the booth had a chance to win a drone. The winner will be announced soon, adding an element of fun to what has been a productive exhibition for BPM.

The company looks forward to building on these connections and continuing to drive innovation in device programming and cybersecurity solutions.

BPM to Spotlight Solutions for Programming Complex and Data-Dense Devices at SMTA International Trade Show

BPM to Spotlight Solutions for Programming Complex and Data-Dense Devices at SMTA International Trade Show

BPM, an established leader in device programming solutions, is excited to announce its participation in the SMTA International Trade Show on October 10-11 in Minneapolis. Focusing on its proven 2900 Manual Programmer, BPM will be stationed at Booth 1215 to demonstrate how the device excels at programming complex and data-dense products.

Representing BPM are Colin Harper, Director of Sales and Product Development, and Pierce Weiss, Executive Sales Manager. Both will be on hand to explain the numerous benefits and efficiencies gained by bringing device programming in-house, particularly for complex and data-rich devices.

“SMTA International offers a vital platform for BPM to showcase how the 2900 Manual Programmer, a cornerstone in our product line for several years, solves the unique challenges posed by complex and data-heavy devices,” states Colin Harper.

What to Expect at Booth 1215 Event Page

  • Targeted demonstrations of the 2900 Manual Programmer’s capabilities in programming complex and data-dense devices
  • Hands-on experiences allow attendees to familiarize themselves with the 2900
  • Exclusive previews of forthcoming advancements in BPM’s device programming solutions
  • Special promotions and giveaways exclusively for booth visitors

“The SMTA International Trade Show provides an invaluable chance for one-on-one, live conversations about how to advance capabilities in the rapidly evolving field of device programming,” adds Pierce Weiss, Executive Sales Manager.

Schedule Your One-on-One Meeting

Attendees interested in discussing how to elevate their device programming capabilities, particularly for complex and data-dense devices, are encouraged to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Colin Harper or Pierce Weiss. For appointment bookings, please schedule using Calendly here.

Schedule One-On-One

About BPM

With more than three decades of experience, BPM is a global authority in device programming solutions. Known for innovating reliable, quick, and adaptable products like the 2900 Manual Programmer, BPM has long been the go-to choice for industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to healthcare and consumer electronics. With a global footprint spanning over 50 countries and a robust network of partners and distributors, BPM remains committed to delivering top-notch, scalable solutions suited for programming complex and data-rich devices.

White Paper: Solving ICT Bottlenecks Through Offline Device Programming

White Paper: Solving ICT Bottlenecks Through Offline Device Programming


As the manufacturing sector transitions to more complex electronic components, the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of programming semiconductor devices are of paramount importance. While In-Circuit Test (ICT) programming has been the traditional approach, its inherent limitations often create bottlenecks that can critically impact production lines. This paper offers an in-depth analysis of these challenges and positions offline in-socket semiconductor device programming as a superior alternative, both in terms of operational efficiency and cost savings.

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

In the realm of electronic manufacturing services, the programming of semiconductor devices is an inescapable necessity. The complexity and miniaturization of modern electronic components, combined with the insatiable demand for quicker, more efficient production lines, have placed a spotlight on the techniques employed for device programming. In-Circuit Test (ICT) programming has long been the standard approach due to its ability to combine the testing and programming phases. By integrating these two processes, ICT ostensibly offers an efficient solution to streamline the manufacturing process.

1.2 Scope and Objective

However, as with any technology, ICT programming is not without its drawbacks. High capital costs, slower production throughput, and substantial resource allocation for rework are among the significant concerns. These factors often combine to form bottlenecks that slow down the entire production pipeline. The objective of this paper is to critically evaluate these limitations and present an alternative approach—offline in-socket semiconductor device programming. This method promises not only to alleviate the existing bottlenecks but also offers avenues for significant operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

1.3 Methodology

To construct a compelling case for offline in-socket programming, this paper will utilize a multi-faceted methodology. It will dissect the inherent challenges of ICT programming, explaining both the technical and financial implications. Subsequently, it will delve into the specific advantages of offline in-socket programming, supporting these points with empirical data, case studies, and technical analyses. Finally, it will offer concrete recommendations for manufacturers looking to optimize their programming methods.

1.4 Importance

Understanding the bottlenecks in ICT programming is vital for any stakeholder in the electronic manufacturing sector. From Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to contract manufacturers and programming centers, these limitations can be the differentiating factor in a hyper-competitive market. By scrutinizing these challenges and offering a tangible, practical solution, this paper aims to contribute to the broader dialogue surrounding efficient manufacturing processes.

2. Limitations of ICT Programming

2.1 High Initial Setup Costs

2.1.1 Capital Expenditure on Equipment

ICT programming demands an extensive capital investment in specialized, purpose-built equipment such as bed-of-nails fixtures and Automated Test Equipment (ATE). While a bed-of-nails fixture costs can range from $10,000 to $50,000, a full-scale ATE system’s price can skyrocket to hundreds of thousands of dollars1. These figures don’t even account for the additional costs related to installation, calibration, and the potential infrastructure modifications required for housing such equipment.

2.1.2 Obsolescence and Upgrades

Technology evolves at a rapid pace, contributing to the accelerated obsolescence of the existing equipment. The denser layouts and smaller geometries of modern semiconductor devices often make the existing testing setups incompatible. This technological evolution necessitates either the expensive retrofitting of existing systems or complete replacements. Therefore, companies must factor in a continuous capital expenditure cycle for their ICT setups, making it a recurring financial burden.

2.1.3 Expertise and Third-Party Support

The complexity of ICT equipment implies that a high level of expertise is needed for both operation and maintenance. Manufacturers often have to resort to employing specialized in-house engineers or third-party consultancies for the same. This situation further adds to the overall cost structure, as these services do not come cheap.

2.2 Slower Throughput

2.2.1 Sequential Programming

The sequential nature of ICT is its most glaring limitation when it comes to production throughput. While the simultaneous testing and programming of devices may seem efficient on paper, the practical application tells a different story. Usually, each semiconductor device on the printed circuit board (PCB) must be programmed and tested individually, leading to possible delays as the number of devices on the board increases. It would behoove you to ask your ICT provider if they offer parallel programming (some now do).

2.2.2 Resource Utilization

If the ICT provider does not offer programming in parallel, and instead is limited to the sequential process, the production line remains halted or slowed down while waiting for the ICT process to complete. This stalling can result in inefficient utilization of resources such as manpower and machinery, leading to increased operational costs.

2.2.3 Queue Management

As the ICT process is slower, it can create backlogs in the production queue. Effective management of these queues demands additional overheads in the form of dedicated staff or sophisticated scheduling algorithms, both of which have their costs and complexities.

2.3 Cost of Rework

2.3.1 Rework Procedures

Should a device fail the programming stage during ICT, the subsequent rework process is not only time-consuming but also costly. A typical rework process involves desoldering the faulty device, removing it from the PCB, replacing it with a new device, resoldering, and then re-running the entire programming and testing procedure.

2.3.2 Material Wastage

The rework process incurs wastage of materials, including the solder and the faulty semiconductor devices themselves. While the devices might be cheaper components in the broader scheme, these costs can quickly accumulate over high production volumes.

2.3.3 Labor Costs

The labor-intensive nature of the rework process means that skilled technicians must be involved, adding another layer to the already high costs associated with ICT programming. Given the complexity and risk associated with desoldering and resoldering, there is very little margin for error, requiring highly skilled labor.

3. Advantages of Offline In-Socket Programming

3.1 Scalability and Flexibility

3.1.1 Modular Design

Offline in-socket programmers typically embrace a modular design, which allows manufacturers to easily scale their operations in line with demand. Unlike ICT setups, which often necessitate complete overhauls to accommodate changes, modular in-socket systems enable the addition or subtraction of modules to meet new requirements.

3.1.2 Adaptability to New Technologies

Offline in-socket programming systems are inherently more adaptable to new semiconductor technologies, thanks to their focus on software-driven solutions. Updating to a new programming algorithm is often as simple as a software upgrade, obviating the need for expensive hardware modifications.

3.2 Efficiency and Throughput

3.2.1 Parallel Programming

One of the most significant advantages of offline in-socket programming is the ability to program multiple devices simultaneously. This parallelism dramatically reduces the time required for the programming stage, leading to faster production cycles and greater throughput.

3.2.2 Resource Optimization

With offline in-socket programming, production lines can operate more continuously. Devices are programmed offline without halting or slowing down the other manufacturing steps, allowing for optimal utilization of both manpower and machinery.

3.2.3 Reduced Queue Times

The efficiency gains in programming often translate to reduced queue times in the production pipeline. This efficiency removes the need for complex queue management systems or additional staffing to manage backlogs, thereby reducing operational overheads.

3.3 Cost-Effectiveness

3.3.1 Lower Capital Costs

The upfront investment for offline in-socket programming is generally lower than that of traditional ICT setups. The absence of expensive fixtures and ATE systems substantially reduces initial setup costs.

3.3.2 Reduced Maintenance and Upgrade Costs

Given their software-centric design, offline in-socket programming systems usually incur lower maintenance costs. Software updates to accommodate new device types or fix bugs are far more economical than hardware upgrades in ICT systems.

3.3.3 Minimized Rework Costs

With the offline approach, devices that fail the programming process can be replaced before they are soldered onto the PCB. This proactive fault detection eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming rework procedures, resulting in both material and labor savings.


5. Conclusion and Future Outlook

5.1 Summary of Findings

This white paper has systematically outlined the limitations and challenges presented by ICT programming, particularly its high initial setup costs, its typically sequential nature, and the complexity involved in updating and maintaining the system. In contrast, offline in-socket programming emerges as a technically superior and financially viable alternative.

Case studies from diverse sectors, namely automotive, aerospace, and medical devices, have concretely illustrated the advantages of offline in-socket programming. These include significantly enhanced throughput, substantial cost savings, quicker time-to-market, and greater flexibility in accommodating technological advancements.

5.2 Future Outlook

The benefits of offline in-socket programming are not limited to the industries discussed. As IoT devices proliferate and more industries become reliant on programmable semiconductor components, the need for efficient, flexible, and scalable programming solutions will only grow.

The future of device programming is evidently leaning towards more modular and adaptable systems. Emerging technologies, such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, are poised to make these systems even more efficient, capable of predictive maintenance and self-optimization.

5.3 Recommendations

For organizations considering a switch from ICT to offline in-socket programming, the transition process should involve:

  • Preliminary Analysis: A thorough cost-benefit analysis to ascertain the financial and technical gains.
  • Vendor Selection: Opting for a vendor with a track record of reliability, strong after-sales support, and the ability to meet industry-specific needs.
  • Pilot Testing: Before full-scale implementation, a pilot phase should be conducted to fine-tune the setup and resolve any potential issues.
  • Employee Training: Investing in comprehensive training for staff to manage the new system effectively.
  • Review Mechanism: Regular performance reviews to ensure the system continues to meet operational requirements and remains scalable with future technological advancements.


Automated Test Equipment (ATE)

Definition: A system that performs tests on a device, using automation to quickly perform measurements and evaluate the test results. An ATE can be a standalone system or may integrate with other testing apparatus like bed-of-nails fixtures for more comprehensive testing scenarios.

Bed-of-Nails Fixture

Definition: A testing apparatus used in the ICT environment where numerous small pins make contact with various test points on a PCB. The setup allows for simultaneous testing and programming of assembled devices.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU)

Definition: A type of embedded system in automotive electronics that controls one or more of the electrical subsystems in a vehicle.

In-Circuit Test (ICT)

Definition: A form of white-box testing where an electrical probe tests a populated PCB, checking for shorts, opens, resistance, capacitance, and other basic quantities to determine if the assembly was correctly fabricated.

Infusion Pump

Definition: A medical device that delivers fluids, such as nutrients and medications, into a patient’s body in controlled amounts.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Definition: The network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.


Definition: A compact integrated circuit designed to govern a specific operation in an embedded system.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

Definition: A board made from a non-conductive material with conductive lines printed or etched. Electronic components are mounted on the board and the traces connect the components together, forming a circuit.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Definition: A financial metric used to measure the probability of gaining a return from an investment. It is a ratio that compares the gain or loss from an investment relative to its cost.


Definition: The number of units of a product that can be manufactured in a given period of time.

Celebrating 23 Years of Service: Paul Wickboldt’s Journey at BPM Microsystems

Celebrating 23 Years of Service: Paul Wickboldt’s Journey at BPM Microsystems

As Paul Wickboldt, BPM Microsystems’ Systems and Facilities Administrator,  marks his 23rd year with BPM, the occasion merits more than just a commemorative plaque or a simple handshake. Paul’s journey is one of commitment, diverse skill sets, relentless pursuit of excellence, and personal resilience.

A Man of Many Talents

Paul Wickboldt’s skills are not confined to a single job description. At BPM Microsystems, Paul has worn many hats—System Administrator, Facility Administrator, Help Desk Technician, and Contract Coordinator, to name a few. He manages multiple servers, serves nearly 100 users, and oversees a 35,000 sq ft 3-story building. Simply put, he is the backbone of the technical infrastructure, ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.

Resilience Beyond Work

What makes Paul’s story even more inspiring is his personal journey as a cancer survivor. The resilience and strength he demonstrated during this challenging time are a testament to his indomitable spirit. But battling cancer isn’t his only achievement outside of work. Paul is an accomplished photographer whose keen eye captures the beauty of the world in unique ways. He’s also a skilled woodworker, creating pieces that are both functional and artistic.

A Walk Through Memory Lane

Before joining BPM Microsystems, Paul honed his skills in various industries, making him a man of diverse experience. His resume paints a picture of a highly skilled individual:

  • United States Air Force: Serving as an Electronic Warfare Systems Specialist, Paul spent over a decade troubleshooting and repairing radar transmitter and receiver equipment.
  • Constar International: As a Machine Operator, Paul was responsible for maintaining production flow and operating complex machinery.
  • John H. Carter Company, Inc.: Here, he was a Field Service Systems Engineer, specializing in the installation and maintenance of Fisher Rosemount DCS computer systems.
  • Excel Inc: As a Journeyman Electrician, he installed, maintained, and troubleshooted motor control and electrical circuits in harsh industrial environments.

The Pulse of BPM Microsystems

“Paul keeps this place up and running,” says Jon Bondurant, the COO of BPM Microsystems. This simple yet profound statement encapsulates the essence of Paul’s role in the company. His ability to adapt, learn, and excel in various capacities has made him an invaluable asset.

Overcoming Challenges

Managing a 35,000 sq ft 3-story building is not without its challenges, but Paul’s earlier experiences have trained him well. He’s equally comfortable working on a computer terminal as he is troubleshooting electrical issues in the building. The skill set he acquired over the years, starting from his time in the Air Force to his stint as an electrician, has equipped him with the tools needed to keep BPM Microsystems running efficiently.

The Importance of Longevity

In today’s fast-paced world, where job hopping is often the norm, Paul’s 23 years at BPM Microsystems is a testament to his loyalty and the company’s nurturing environment. Longevity like this not only brings unparalleled expertise but also creates a sense of continuity and reliability that is irreplaceable.


As we celebrate Paul Wickboldt’s 23-year anniversary, we don’t just celebrate a milestone. We celebrate the unwavering commitment of a man who has devoted his diverse skill set and vast experience to the success of BPM Microsystems. Beyond that, we honor his personal journey of resilience, artistry, and craftsmanship. His story is not just a tale of personal success but is, in many ways, the story of BPM Microsystems itself—a story of growth, commitment, and technical excellence. Thank you, Paul!

The Final Chapter: BPM’s 7th Generation Programmers

The Final Chapter: BPM’s 7th Generation Programmers

Since their launch in the mid-2000s, BPM Microsystems’ 7th Generation programmers have been an instrumental part of the company’s award-winning lineup. With a legacy spanning close to two decades, these programmers have fulfilled a variety of roles in industries ranging from automotive to aerospace. However, every legacy has its finale, and BPM has recently announced the last buy for its 7th Generation programmers. Driven by supply chain constraints, this move is not just a product life-cycle decision, but a strategy to focus on support and future technologies. As of today, BPM will no longer sell 7th Gen programmers and sites*. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the why, the how, and the what-next of this pivotal moment.

*Contact Inside Sales for more details.

Why End Production Now?

The decision to cease the sale of 7th Generation programmers comes against a specific backdrop:

Supply Chain Constraints

Due to the unavailability of critical devices essential for the manufacture of 7th Generation programmers, the decision was made to focus on supporting existing products rather than producing new units. These supply chain constraints played a crucial role in determining the timing of the last buy.

Resource Re-Allocation

With these supply chain issues in mind, BPM made a calculated decision to divert its resources towards service, support, and the development of new technologies like their 9th Generation programmers.

Continued Commitment to Support

Unlike some in the industry, BPM is committed not to leave its user base in the lurch. Even with the halt in production, BPM assures ongoing support for existing 7th Generation programmer users:

  • Device Algorithms: BPM will continue to roll out new programming algorithms to ensure the programmers remain functional.
  • Technical Support: Expertise is just a call or an email away, thanks to BPM’s technical support team.
  • Parts and Accessories: Despite supply chain constraints affecting new unit production, essential parts will still be supplied for repairs and maintenance while the components last.

The Way Forward: Spotlight on the 9th Generation

These state-of-the-art 9th Gen programmers come with several enhancements:

  • Faster Programming Speeds: Utilizing parallelism to a greater extent, these new models offer speed advantages that can significantly cut down production times.
  • Advanced Cybersecurity: Newer security protocols align with the increasing cybersecurity demands of industries such as automotive and medical devices.
  • Greater Versatility: The 9th Generation models are designed with modular architecture, making them incredibly adaptable to the rapidly changing technological landscape.
  • On-board Memory: 7th Gen sites come standard with .5 GB (512 MB) of on-board memory. 9th Gen sites are configured with 256 GB of on-board memory, and can be upgraded to twice that amount. (1 Gigabyte is equal to 1000 megabytes)

Why Transition to the 9th Generation?

Given the discontinuation of the 7th Generation, here’s why transitioning to the 9th Generation might be a prudent choice:

  • Future-Proofing: With more modular components and an architecture designed for adaptability, these models are geared for the future.
  • Cost-Efficiency: The improved speed and reduced cycle times result in cost benefits in the long run.
  • Training and Support: BPM’s robust training services ensure that the transition to newer technology is smooth, minimizing any potential downtime.

Socket Adapter Compatibility:  




Adapter Prefix**


7th Gen

9th Gen

7th Gen

9th Gen

LSM LSM2S676FGMSSOCB No No Yes Limited Support *
LXSM LXSM28FLPZA No No Yes Limited Support *
LX2SM LX2SM28FLPZB No No Yes Limited Support *
LX4SM LX4SM40DIPLT No No Yes Limited Support *
LASM LASM324BGV Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *
LXASM LXASM484BGAV Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *
LX2ASM LX2ASM473BGA Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *
LX4ASM LX4ASMR64QFPTB Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *
WASM WASM20MLFA Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *
WXASM WXASM100QE Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *
WX2ASM WX2ASML48UBG Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *
WX4ASM WX4ASMR08SJA Yes Limited Support * Yes Limited Support *

Limited Support *: Replacement D-Card for Legacy Socket Module: Check BPWin to confirm device and adapter compatibility. 9th Gen does support a limited number of legacy d-cards.

Daughter Cards (D-Cards)**: 6th and 7th Gen Programmers require a socket module base. D-Cards plug into the base. 9th Gen programmers do not require a base.

Vector Engine BitBlast Program and Verify Time Comparison:

SanDisk SDIN5C2-8G (8GB)

  • Without BitBlast- 2091 Seconds
  • With BitBlast- 933 Seconds

SanDisk SDIN5C2-4G (4GB)

  • Without BitBlast- 1070 Seconds
  • With BitBlast- 469 Seconds


  • Without BitBlast- 1083 Seconds
  • With BitBlast- 469 Seconds

Toshiba THGBM1G5D2EBAI7 (4GB)

  • Without BitBlast- 959 Seconds
  • With BitBlast- 460 Seconds

Samsung KLM2G1DEHE-B101 (2GB)

  • Without BitBlast- 488 Seconds
  • With BitBlast- 398 Seconds


The last buy of the 7th Generation programmers might signify an end, but it’s also a starting point for new opportunities and advancements. The decision, dictated by supply chain constraints and a strategic focus on future technologies, brings us to the cusp of a new era with BPM’s new Generation of programmers. Existing users of the 7th Generation need not worry, as BPM continues its commitment to exceptional service and support.

Additional Resources