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Method for a universal, detachable, and reusable in-circuit test fixture gate assembly and electronic kit

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007244D
Publication Date: 2002-Mar-06
Document File: 6 page(s) / 603K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a universal, detachable, and reusable in-circuit test (ICT) fixture gate assembly and electronic kit. Benefits include improved test environment, improved equipment reusability, cost and time savings.

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Method for a universal, detachable, and reusable in-circuit test fixture gate assembly and electronic kit

Disclosed is a method for a universal, detachable, and reusable in-circuit test (ICT) fixture gate assembly and electronic kit. Benefits include improved test environment, improved equipment reusability, cost and time savings.

Background

              Every conventional ICT solution consists of a test program and ICT fixture. The ICT fixture is typically comprised of a standard fixture kit and a fixture gate assembly. The fixture kit includes the following standard items:

•             Top plate

•             Probe plate

•             Alignment plate

•             Two side handles

•             Aluminum frame

              The kit is installed with probes, personality pins, and wires that are customized for a particular board product and cannot be reused. The fixture gate assembly is a custom-made item to suit the board requirement by the fixture vendor and contains some test hardware, such as header switches and battery pushdowns. The cost for this fixture is significant. Fabrication takes about 2 weeks, of which 2–3 days are for fabrication of the fixture gate assembly. The long lead-time of fixture fabrication typically lies in the critical path of time-to-market product test development projects. Sometimes due to schedule pressures, builds are completed without the gate assembly, losing test coverage for some period of time. The conventional fixture is typically shipped by the vendor to the ICT developer without the fixture gate assembly to allow more time for fixture and test debugging. The gate assembly is typically shipped 2–3 days later when it is completed. Some tests may need to be debugged a second time, when the gate assembly arrives and is attached to the fixture.

              Some tests require fixture electronics that are built into an ICT fixture. This kit includes several items, for example:

•             Flash memory card

•             Load relay

•             Load resistor

•             TestJet Mux Card

              These fixture electronics are not part of the conventional ICT tester and are duplicated in every ICT fixture, adding to its overall cost.

              Conventionally, the cost and reusability issues are not addressed. The entire ICT fixture is thrown away when the product life is ended. No part of the fixture is designed for reusability, so no cost-savings occur from reusing parts.

General description

              The disclosed method is a universal, detachable, and reusable ICT fixture gate assembly and eletronics kit. The key elements include:

•             Fixture gate assembly consists of:

              -             Universal detachable fixture gate

              -             Product-specific mounting plate, holding test hardware (such as header switches and                   
                            battery push...