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Sweat the Details

Two metrics in device programming are super-important (but the third might be even more important). Here are several questions to ask:
  • What can I expect for up-time and utilization for my Device Programmer?
  • How does BPM ensure the highest quality and accuracy of finished programmed devices?
  • How does BPM deliver the cleanest waveforms? Why are clean waveforms important?

Up-Time/Utilization Rates

With routine maintenance and yearly calibration, BPM systems are designed for maximum uptime. Many factories worldwide run their Automated Programming Systems 6 days a week/3 shifts a day. For purposes of allocation, BPM recommends using an 85% utilization rate (but you may find it above 90% in actual use). BPM’s systems are easy to set up, especially compared to other comparable systems, making their utilization rate the best in class.


BPM ensures accuracy and repeatability for device programming In three main ways: Auto-teach, Vision Alignment, and Job Automation. All programming systems are highly repeatable– once they are set up, they will reliably repeat their program (even if it isn’t perfect). The trick is to start with a perfect setup, resulting in repeatable, reliable, and accurate yield.

A: Teach too high may cause misalignment. B: Teach too low may cause micro-fractures that oxidize over time. The device may pass the initial test only to fail in the field

WhisperTeach is BPM’s patented process to “auto-teach” the critical Z-height of input-output locations and sockets. You see, it’s easy, with a downward camera, to center the X/Y coordinates in the input/output and socket locations (and if you are off slightly, BPM’s on-the-fly vision centering auto corrects and auto centers). But there is no camera to precisely place and pick up the Z (up and down). Some locations are more difficult than others because of where in the machine they are. But even in the “easy” locations, a human operator can only see to about 45 microns (slightly smaller than the width of a human hair).  WhisperTeach is a major factor in BPM’s systems ease and speeds up set-up without sacrificing quality– it’s more accurate (within 15 microns) than a human operator, even a highly trained technician.

For on-the-fly vision alignment, BPM systems utilize a CyberOptics LNC-120 camera which precisely spins the device between the input/output location and the socket without requiring the system to slow down. This boosts DPH (Devices per Hour) without sacrificing quality. BPM’s systems can handle the smallest chip-scale packages in the industry (as small as 1mm x 0.5mm).

Finally, Job Automation allows multiple workflows to be stored and retrieved quickly. BPWin, BPM’s Process Software, calls this application JobMaster. It allows you to prepare programming jobs to meet precise specifications, and then save the jobs for future use for repeatable quality.


BPM’s programming site technology has its origins in test equipment. Everything, from the pin drivers to the gold-plated contacts on sites and sockets, is designed to deliver the cleanest waveforms. If you want to know more, read the Signal Integrity article here. For the short version, signal integrity delivers maximum quality and device life expectancy (you don’t want “device amnesia“).

Clean waveforms give you programming results that you can count on and the highest first-pass yields.