Novel Approach to Circuit Board Testing
R.G. Wright, L.V. Kirkland, M. Zgol, D. Adebimpe, E. Keenan and R. Mulligan
GMA Industries, Inc., US
Keywords: molecular electronics, carbon nanotubes, bed of nails, circuit board testing
Fast, accurate, and inexpensive identification of failed integrated circuits on electronic circuit boards presents a major challenge for the electronic testing industry. In this paper we describe research and development efforts in the application of nanoscale sensors to implement an original method for bed-of-needles testing for printed circuit boards testing. This approach performs functional testing that eliminates the need to have a pre-existing model of a circuit board while automating much of the development process. The general concept involves creating arrays of nanoscale sensor probes, using molecular electronics for incorporating test instruments and computing logic for test interpretation directly into a pod consisting of multiple nails, and distributing these pods across the face and back of a circuit card using a contact fixture. The resulting test approach exhibits massive parallelism combined with extremely compact size that facilitates novel testing approaches not possible with current generation or planned architecture test equipment. Many existing limitations resulting from diminished scale of electronic devices that make it harder to test these devices are overcome, while improving overall test speed and accuracy by placing the test instruments and computing power directly at the device and pins being tested.
Nanotech 2004 Conference Technical Program Abstract