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Test a Load Board

A load board is an interface device that works in between the IC under-test and the test head of the automated test equipment. The purpose of the load board is to provide mechanical and electrical interface between these two devices. It is extremely important that a load board be tested to see if there are any problems in its connections. There are three main methods to test the devices, which vary in effort, time, and money put into the test. Choose the one that is best for you and your situation.

Perform a manual verification test. To do this, you will need to use an ohmmeter to check for any shorts or opens between the test socket-to-IC contacts and the PCB to ATE connections. This method is, however, very limited. It will save you some money if your load board deals with a low amount of contacts (under 50); it is on the flip side not very practical for load boards that happen to feature a large amount of contacts (100 or more).

Use the same expensive device that you employ when testing your ATE to test the load board, whatever that may be. This method is the least desirable out of all the options as it is very expensive and inefficient. It can also waste a large amount of your test resources, which will then consequently impair your ability to test your ATE. You may also need to write some special software to test the board. Avoid this method if possible.

Take the test out of your hands. Employ a dedicated load board testing system. This method is your best bet as it will save you the greatest amount of money and time. It is also much more reliable than any form of manual testing that you undertake. This test measures leakage currents and resistance to confirm that the load board does not have any shorts or opens in its circuitry. One system that is especially noted for its abilities is the Cerprobe BOSS Load Board Test System, which measures not only for the shorts and opens but also a variety of other factors. Find a group in your own town that can perform this test for you and let them take care of it.

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