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Programming Devices— where no repairman has gone before

Programming Devices— where no repairman has gone before

How BPM’s device programmers master $100K antifuse FPGAs

The first few seconds are critical. There are a million things that have to go just right. If the rocket makes it to the second-stage burn, the engineers in mission control can begin to breathe again. For the payload specialists, the hard part is still hours, days, or even years to come. Where their satellite, probe, or manned mission is going, there are no service calls. Under the harshest conditions that are known to exist (extremes of heat/cold, g-forces, radiation, etc.) their payloads are expected to perform flawlessly well beyond what’s even realistic back on earth.

Whether it’s a sensor on an anti-lock brake assembly or a telemetry chip on a satellite, there are increasing numbers of programmed devices where failure isn’t an option; either it’s difficult or impossible to replace in the field, or failure means the potential loss of irreplaceable life and equipment (or both). When it comes to programming a mission-critical antifuse device, who is the only authorized vendor on which Microsemi relies? BPM Microsystems.

According to a Microsemi white paper, an antifuse-based FPGA is, “the most secure programmable device available.” Antifuse FPGAs are a one-time programmable non-volatile device that never uses a bitstream. Once programmed, it can’t be intercepted, copied, modified, or corrupted. They are also highly impervious to radiation (“Rad-Hard”). On the other hand, you’ve only got one shot to program the device, so it’s vital that it be programmed correctly.

Read More Here

Antifuse FPGAs have been around since the ‘90s, yet are still the most secure silicon devices available. From a practical perspective, antifuse devices are virtually impossible to reverse engineer. For instance, to determine the difference between programmed and unprogrammed fuses requires a scanning electron microscope, which when used, physically destroys the device in the process.

A single blank antifuse device can range in cost from a few thousand dollars to as much as $100,000! When a single device can cost as much as 50 times as much as the system that programs it, Microsemi has only licensed BPM to build their family of Silicon Sculptor programmers, now entering the 4th generation. The latest, the Silicon Sculptor 4 is built on the BPM 9th Generation site technology; 9th Gen programming sites are the most universal, most widely developed (35K+ devices and growing), fastest programming technology in the industry, and has been vetted by the most rigorous and demanding requirements in the business of programming. The underlying architecture was developed from the testing industry and is capable of generating the cleanest waveforms for the highest signal integrity, ensuring maximum trouble-free life in the field (even if that field is deep space).

When one chip costs more than some automated systems (such as BPM’s 3901 Automated Programming System that starts at just under $90K) and there is no “second chance,” it has to be perfect the first time. The Silicon Sculptor 4 continues the tradition of delivering consistent quality devices to places where repair trucks can’t go.

Hardly anyone has the same quality requirements as antifuse devices. It is comforting to know the same attention to clean waveforms that Microsemi relies on is available to everyone. Anyone can benefit from the design criteria that are built into BPM’s 9th Gen family of programmers.  Signal quality, power supply design, and system self-check ensure the highest level of quality for you.

3901 Virtual Demo

3901 Virtual Demo

3901 Virtual Demo

Live Webinar July 7, 2020

  • The 3901 APS – the affordable full-featured APS with Universal Programming Technology and On the fly vision alignment
  • Take a test drive with WhisperTeach which automates the Z-axis teach
  • We’ll talk about Scalability: Field Upgrade to 3928 (up to 7 sites, 1432 DPH)
  • Live 3901 Demo
    • Job changeover from TSOPs to BGA devices
    • Run a job
    • WhisperTeach Demo
  • Q&A

Your Hosts

Colin Harper

Colin Harper

Director of Sales and Product Management

BPM Microsystems
15000 Northwest Fwy,
Houston, TX 77040-3220
USA
Phone:  +1 713 351-5521
Cell: 1+ 832 358-1002

Colin has been at BPM for over 17 years. He’s been head of Engineering, Product Development, Sales and Marketing. Colin was instrumental in launching the 3901 and 3928 in 2019.

Scott Bronstad

Scott Bronstad

Marketing Guy

We want to help you be successful! Let us know how we can help
Office: +1 713-263-3776 x5464
Cell: +1 832-816-6579
email

Scott just celebrated (in May) 2 years at BPM. He has over 25 years of marketing experience, and has recently launched BPM’s Ecommerce store.

Video: Bring your mission-critical programming in-house

Video: Bring your mission-critical programming in-house

Video: Bring your mission-critical programming in-house

Since about 2010, the strongest market segment for Automated Programmers has been Automotive suppliers. Automotive suppliers have an ever-increasing need for programming as cars become more complex and technology-driven. They also often require 3D inspection and laser marking to ensure consistent quality and to track inventory. Big projects, with millions of programmed devices, make device programming in-house a no-brainer.

Smaller OEMs, while perhaps having many of the same needs as the Automotive guys, were constrained by limited resources. As their programming needs outgrew their ability to produce on manual systems, the only option was to outsource to the programming houses or ship their component manufacturing off-shore.

Then came the perfect storm of 2019: a crippling trade war, followed by a growing pandemic.

Read more  Here

Hot buttons for OEMs and Contract Manufacturers

  • Faster time to market– go from prototype to production in weeks, not months
  • Expand vertical manufacturing capability
  • React to design changes quickly– tweaks in code can be updated to the workflow in just a few minutes
  • Intellectual Property physically protected from theft
  • Don’t have to shut down the line due to supply chain issues with programmed devices
  • Device programming is easier than ever before; Installed and operational in less than one week
  • Manual programmers can provide 10s of thousands of devices per year; when demand exceeds manual capacity, it’s easy to migrate to an automated system (same sockets, software, no need to redo first article, etc.)
  • One high-speed universal platform can support millions of devices per year, at an incredibly low cost per device
  • As demand increases, it’s easy to add additional sites for more capacity. If additional capacity is needed, add additional shifts without needing highly skilled technicians
  • Lower cost solutions (3901, 3928) provide the greatest value in the industry. ROI in months, not years.

See White Paper

Doing our Part to Defeat Our Common Enemy

Doing our Part to Defeat Our Common Enemy

BPM has instituted enhanced antiseptic cleaning

Our mission today is more important than ever. We are serving the global fight against our common enemy– SARS-Cov-2 – the virus that is causing COVID-19. This week, we’ve shipped a 3910 Automated Programming System to produce digital thermometers. And, we are doing a rush Device Support Request that is required to program MCUs that will control hospital beds. These beds are being produced immediately to set up new overflow hospitals. These two projects will save many thousands of lives. How often do you get to go to work and save thousands of lives? Pretty cool.

To help address the new leadership challenges we are facing, I am promoting Jon Bondurant to Chief Operating Officer. Jon’s mission in the COO role is to keep the trains running on time, so to speak. The entire leadership team, and thus all employees, are now reporting to Jon. This will allow me to work on strategy and technology development. Jon has demonstrated great skill as a manager, leader and solution innovator. He’s already stepping up his responsibilities in integrating and coordinating Device Support, IT, Manufacturing and Inside Sales to increase our output as a whole company. We are starting to see results already. Please congratulate Jon and give him an air handshake (from a safe distance).

COVID-19 Impacts BPM

All BPM Microsystems employees have been instructed to comply with the social distancing requirements, in addition to wearing N95 masks, in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19

We took the precaution of buying enough N95 masks (Filters out 95 percent of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in diameters.) for all employees when they were still available. To protect all of us, we are wearing these masks at work. The masks work not only because they filter the air you breathe, but they also keep you from touching your lips and nose, plus they diminish aerosols produced by coughing, sneezing, clearing your throat and speech. Do not lose your mask. They are exceptionally hard to get right now.

We are busy saving thousands of lives. And, we will get through this.

Kindest regards,

William White
Founder and CEO,
BPM Microsystems

Notice of Engagement in Essential Business

Notice of Engagement in Essential Business

To: State or local law enforcement and public health & safety officials 

Re: Notice of Engagement in Essential Business / Essential Travel 

BPM Microsystems, Inc. is deemed to be an essential business.

On March 23, 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) listed ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. This list includes several segments that BPM Microsystem’s business operations support. Those segments include, but are not limited to: Workers necessary for the manufacturing and distribution of products needed for medical supply chains and for supply chains associated with transportation, energy, food and agriculture, waste pickup, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base. 

All BPM Microsystems employees have been instructed to comply with the Social Distancing Requirements in order to minimize the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.  All non-essential BPM Microsystems employees have been instructed to work from home.

Sincerely, 

Jon Bondurant
VP Operations, BPM Microsystems

Download Official Letter
A Letter to Our Friends and Customers

A Letter to Our Friends and Customers

A Letter to Our Friends and Customers

BPM Microsystems, Inc. is an essential supplier to businesses that are vital to both the United States and the world economy. Our device programming equipment is utilized by the medical field, aerospace, transportation, defense, and essential manufacturing. At this time, our facility will remain open and will be conducting business as “normally as possible” during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the US Department of Homeland Security classifies BPM as a Critical Infrastructure Sector which gives us the ability to stay open in the event of a shelter-in-place order (as of 3/24/2020, Harris County is under a shelter-in-place order). Currently BPM is prioritizing all orders for medical, healthcare or otherwise COVID-19 related customers.

As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we at BPM are closely monitoring the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Texas Department of Health. Based on their guidance, BPM Microsystems is taking a number of precautionary measures for the health and safety of our customers, suppliers, and team members.

As at your companies, we’re focused on the health and safety of our employees, families, and communities. Most of our employees have been strongly encouraged to work from home. So far, this shift has been relatively smooth and we continue to deliver the highest levels of performance. Locally, the schools are closed, so there have been some of our folks who are working out the logistics at home.

Because we manufacture all of our equipment here in Houston, there is a group of folks that can’t work remotely. They run the PCB line, build/QC/test our machines (manual and automated systems) and finish most of our socket cards. We’re being mindful of their safety, we’re no longer accepting visitors to our Houston campus and we’ve canceled business travel (except in situations approved by CEO).

So far the efforts of our team over the last few weeks have been successful. No-one within the BPM team has been directly impacted by COVID-19 virus. The BPM team remains focused on your success. While all our businesses are in uncharted territory, BPM is known for innovation and problem-solving, and we feel ready to face this challenge.

We just launched our online store. Currently, we have spare parts kits, manual programmers, and standard sockets available. We will be expanding the store’s coverage over time. We have automated programming system available for rapid shipment. This is a good time to “stock up” on items you’ll need eventually. We currently have most items in stock or with a short lead time, with a few exceptions.  We all know how unpredictable this rapidly changing situation is. Consequently, many of our customers have made the decision to have spares on hand just in case. It’s easy for our Inside Sales team to check your sales history and see what items you have ordered in the past in case that helps.

In summary:

  • Product orders for healthcare, medical or otherwise to support COVID-19 recovery will be our top priority
  • BPM is sanitizing all work areas multiple times per day
  • BPM is working within CDC, State, and County guidelines, practicing social distancing, working from home wherever possible and sanitizing all work areas several times per day.
  • BPM has not had any report of COVID-19 amongst our employees
  • Due to uncertainty in supply chains BPM will not hold or delay orders that are ready to ship; order consolidation will be unavailable until further notice as we prioritize for our customers that have immediate needs.
  • We have created videos to enable user-install capabilities as required for APS purchases to be able to install systems in spite of travel bans
  • Whenever possible, BPM employees will be working from home

We have amazing teams across BPM that are here for you. And we have the privilege to work with some of the smartest, leading-edge companies on the planet! We’re committed to being your partner and persevering together in all the days and years ahead.

As we go forward, we’ll be sure to keep you updated, and know that we always value your questions, ideas, and feedback.

Kindest regards,

William White

William White

Founder & CEO, BPM Microsystems Inc