SMTA International Conference Proceedings

Continuing Test Point Management Throughout a PCB Design Flow

Authors: Mark Laing and Zac Elliott
Company: Mentor Graphics, A Siemens Business
Date Published: 10/14/2018   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Typically, PCB design and test engineering are separate silos with little communication between board production and design-for-test engineers (DFT), making test costly and ineffective. This is an important issue especially for industries where reliability and quality means protecting human life, such as in the automotive and medical industries.

Even as design for manufacturing (DFM) has become a proactive part of the design process, the same cannot be said for DFT. Whereas “left-shifting” DFM has reduced manufacturing problems, increased yield, reduced scrap levels, and simplified engineering rework, testability-related improvements have stayed flat during that same time. Unfortunately, as assembly costs have come down, and test-related costs have remained flat, in percentage terms, test is now a significant portion of modern electronics assembly costs.

Using a proactive DFT strategy, the SMT defect rate is the same and yield is lower at test but much higher at functional test. Failing boards are fixed more quickly and boards are less likely to be scrapped. This change in strategy could result in significant cost savings through the process from PCB design to shipping the final product to customers.

Key Words: 

PCB, DFT, SMT, board test

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