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ICT Performs Comprehensive Testing
In circuit testing (ICT) is traditionally used on mature products, especially in subcontract manufacturing. It uses a bed-of-nails test fixture to access multiple test points on the PCB’s bottom side. With sufficient access points, ICT can transmit test signals into and out of PCBs at high speed to perform evaluation of components and circuits.
A bed of nails tester is a traditional electronic test fixture. It has numerous pins inserted into holes, which are aligned using tooling pins to make
contact with test points on a printed circuit board and are also connected to a measuring unit by wires. These devices contain an array of small, spring-loaded pogo pins making contact with one node in the circuitry of the device under test (DUT).
By pressing the DUT down against the bed of nails, a reliable contact can be made quickly with hundreds and in some cases thousands of individual test points within the DUT’s circuitry. Devices that have been tested on a bed of nails tester may show a small mark or a dimple which comes from the sharp tips of pogo pins used in the fixture.
It takes a few weeks to create the ICT fixture and do its programming. A fixture can either be vacuum or press-down. Vacuum fixtures give better signal reading versus the press-down type. On the other hand, vacuum fixtures are expensive because of their high manufacturing complexity. The bed of nails or in-circuit tester is the most common and popular in the contract manufacturing environment.
ICT provides OEM customer such benefits as: