Integration of an X-Y prober with CAD driven database and test generation software for the testing of printed circuit boards

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Virginia Tech


Guided probe testing of printed circuit boards is a technique that has been well developed by automatic test equipment manufacturers to pinpoint faults. Though the guided probe technique of testing printed circuit boards is a process capable of providing high diagnostic resolution, the technique is inefficient when it is performed manually. The throughput of board testing is bottlenecked because of the time required for an operator to manually move a probe to a specific location on the board under test in order to measure a stimulated response. Integration of a CAD driven X-Y prober is a way to automate guided probe testing of printed circuit boards.

This research integrates a personal computer based automated guided probe testing system. A CAD tool provides geometric and circuit connectivity information. Automatic test generation, CAD information post processing, and automatic guided probe testing software tools are developed to implement the system. The ultimate result is increased circuit board test station throughput. This makes the circuit board manufacturing process more efficient and less expensive while maintaining high quality products through more extensive testing.