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Micronas VCT: Maximum Precision Called for in Manufacturing Programming Systems

The latest high-end televisions, whether plasma or LCD, seldom need more than one chip for the entire electronics. The complexity of such devices, among other things, calls for large numbers of pins and, consequently, meticulously shaped device packages. On-board Flash programming via serial interfaces is therefore preferred to individual device programming. The downside of this, however, is the low throughput, especially for large production volumes?

VCT49, VCT6x and VCT7x microcontrollers from the company Micronas generally do not require additional external components to be used in a TV set. Besides the audio, video, teletext and OSD functions, highly complex electronic modules such as these also feature different volatile and non-volatile memory components.

The on-chip Flash can be programmed via a serial I ² C interface or inline in the production line. But time is money, which is why this type of inline programming is not always the most efficient of methods, especially given the high production volumes and cycle requirements. The call for high processing rates, plus increasing quality demands are becoming more and more important in the mass production of such price-sensitive consumer goods.

ertec has 4 programming solutions to this problem:

Provided the customer's production conditions allow for onboard parallelisation, the onboard programming system PGS8P can program up to 8 PCBs (pre-assembled with VCT microcontrollers) in-line at the same time. It goes without saying that this system can be easily integrated into the production software, with no compromise to transparency, logging and traceability features.

When programming larger lot sizes an automated process is an absolute must. In the majority of cases it makes sense to outsource the programming to competent programming firms. At the programming centre of ertec GmbH even memory components with relatively large packages are programmed using our programming robot BEAVER and checked for pin defects in an optical 3D inspection before being placed in the output magazines.

Depending on the customer's production volume, two options are possible: the customer can either invest in one of our BEAVER programming robots or outsource the programming to us - whatever makes most sense financially.

© ertec GmbH, 91058 Erlangen/Germany
Author: Dipl.-Ing. Peter Nickel ((Managing Director - Technical Operations))