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SMT & Inspection | March 27, 2006

Qmax presents new test equipment

For the first time in Europe Qmax will be presenting their latest functional and in-circuit test system at the Nepcon 2006 show in Birmingham, UK.
The QT2128-320PXI was developed to address testing of the new generation of printed circuit assemblies where access to the board is restricted and the high level of integration of the components used means that previous component modelling styles of test cannot easily be implemented.

First introduced to the market in late 2005 the QT2128 has been selling well into the military sector of the board test and maintenance market and, says Rajkumar Clememt, Qmax's International Marketing Director, “we have had a very good reception for potential users in both the military and commercial markets and from our current launch platform we see the QT2128 rollout being very quick. The requirement is there and we have the solution.”

The QT2128 provides a test bed where all of the test and access functions are fully integrated under one software suite. Physical access to the board can be through traditional methods such as bed of nails, where space permits, through the card edge through a JTAG “virtual edge” or any combination of these. Coupling these with fault diagnostics that can operate through guided probe or direct in-circuit test (ICT) the system is as at home with testing complex boards for go / nogo or for fault finding in the repair loop.

Another of the problems with simple test via the edge connector is the board under test's compliance with in system conditions. “Boards may function perfectly on the tester,” comments Clement “ but then fail when plugged back into the host system due to edge parametric failures that normal test does not check for. The QT2128 is equipped with parametric measurements on every pin so that no “good” boards will be returned to the field and fail once put back into use, causing a lot more down time and expensive inventory issues.”

The whole of Qmax's range of test systems are based around a holistic approach where no one tool is brought to the test alone, but is integrated with other techniques to test the board as thoroughly as possible and locate the fault with the minimum of operator intervention. VHDL simulations can be integrated from component to board level, as can picture or schematic driven fault tree analysis. As with all test, the operating software is a key part to the success and the Python user interface is no exception, bringing together all of the system functions in one easy to use, guided programme.

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