POGO® Spring Probe Considerations for PCB In-Circuit and Functional Test

How do I select the optimum POGO® spring probe for my PCB test application?
PCB test fixture designers have many factors to consider when selecting the proper spring probe for their application. In the world of spring probes, choices and trade-offs abound when it comes to selecting tip geometry, spring force, probe base material and plating.  Choosing the right combination of options greatly impacts test yields, probe life and cleaning frequency. Read more

Embedded Components in “Bare” Boards

In the past, the electrical test of bare printed circuit boards (PCB) and the test of populated boards were separate subjects and performed by very different types of test systems. With mobile products and wearables becoming more sophisticated and the internet of things, boards have become smaller and, as a result, board space is more limited than ever. This forces designers to embed some of the circuitry inside the PCB itself to maximize PCB surface area while creating as small a package as possible.

This started with simple, single components, like resistors, capacitors and inductances, and has moved on to whole systems-in-board. In the latter case, silicon devices are often soldered directly in the PCB. To develop, produce and test the PCB the designer, silicon and PCB manufacturer, test department and equipment manufacturer have to work together closely because where one area of responsibility begins, and another ends, has become imprecise. This also impacts the distinction between in-circuit test equipment and bare board test equipment, driving bare board testers to include features previously only found in in-circuit testers. This trend is likely to continue.

Today some of the bare board manufacturers have to produce and test new designs with embedded components on a daily basis. The resulting challenge of a de-facto in-circuit test on what once was a bare board is solved successfully by closely cooperating with both their customers and test equipment manufacturer. This type of cooperation will become even more important with future increases in complexity.

For further information, please check out the two following links. The articles are a bit older, but the predictions of the roadmaps still prove to be true.

IPC Standards for Electronics Manufacturing

IPC standards, the results of industry consensus and collaboration, are respected throughout the whole world. Using IPC standards ensures manufacturer, customers and suppliers use the same terminology. The standards for Printed Circuit Boards are categorized into chapters about

  • Acceptance
  • Fabrications
  • Flexible Circuits
  • General Definitions
  • High Density Interconnect
  • High Speed / High Frequency
  • Materials – Foils
  • Materials – Laminate
  • Materials – Reinforcements

IPC  provides a graphical overview about all these.

Download the IPC poster here