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Taiwan is becoming one of the world's leading makers of cellular phones. Last year, the island shipped 18 million handsets, representing about 5% of worldwide output, according to analysts.

RC0201DR-07100RL_Yageo_Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

Taiwan is becoming one of the world's leading makers of cellular phones. Last year, the island shipped 18 million handsets, representing about 5% of worldwide output, according to analysts.

The team claims to have identified and rectified its electronic problems, which led to both the Jordans stalling on the grid at the previous Grand Prix. But the team has decided not to take any chances in Monaco.

With all the excitement associated with of 3D printers, there seems to be a giant gap in the rapid prototyping tool set — a desktop pick-and-place (P&P) machine that can be had at a reasonable price. If you were to survey the landscape, you would find that most of the smaller pick-and-place machines that are out there are either just not quite ready for primetime, or will cost more than a few thousand dollars. This is where the EETimes community has an opportunity to change the picture.

RC0201DR-07100RL_Yageo_Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

The idea started at this year’s EELive! Conference and Exhibition. A few of us were standing around at one of the Gadget Smackdowns chatting about this and that. Among the various topics we discussed were the popularity of presentations on mechanical design and the need for a way to get reasonable prices on low-volume production/prototype runs. It was then that these two ideas converged and we decided that we wanted to design a very small pick-and-place machine.

The more we talked about this, the more excited we got. The thought of having a machine that can assemble your boards — and possibly even reflow them — while fitting in a space smaller than an 11″ x 17″ footprint just brought great big grins to our faces.

RC0201DR-07100RL_Yageo_Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

This idea — with the excitement it brings — is more than just designing a machine. There is a teaching opportunity as well. We will be using this project to teach concepts about electromechanical integration, motor usage, computer vision, PCB assembly, and a range of related topics through our blog posts and future conference presentations.

So what exactly will this machine consist of, and what tasks will it be capable of performing? Well, this is where we would appreciate your help. We do have some basic goals, but we would welcome your suggestions to fill out the details.

RC0201DR-07100RL_Yageo_Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

Let’s start with out top-level design goals, which are as follows:

With these as the basic design goals, here are some thoughts on other details to get your creative juices flowing. Because of the fact that we are shooting for a low price point, there will need to be some tradeoffs. For example, this is not intended to be the fastest pick-and-place machine out there, so we can look at compromising on speed.

One thing that's required is better handling of data,” Sanie said. Chips are denser, and there's new types of data with the X Architecture. The infrastructure today is tuned for Manhattan-type information.”

Sanie declined to say whether Numerical will offer software that specifically supports the X Architecture. He said his company's existing tools won't have a problem with diagonal interconnects.

Bob Havemann, director of R&D at equipment maker Novellus Systems Inc., said that diagonal interconnects have not been on the research agenda recently, though in past years they were tried on the poly layer but created a very large database for the reticles. At that time, designing with diagonal interconnects was not practical, but maybe things have advanced since then.” As a Texas Instruments assignee to International Sematech, Havemann ran the manufacturing consortium's copper, low-k-dielectrics integration program.

This story was reported by Anthony Cataldo, Brian Fuller, Richard Goering and David Lammers.

Composed of the VSC870 transceiver and the VSC882 crosspoint switch, the CrossStream E chipset has been unleashed for IP and ATM networking applications. The synchronous serial transceiver provides a single full-duplex 32-b interface operating at 62.5 MHz and two 2.125-Gbps serial links. The crosspoint switch supports 16full-duplex serial links operating at 2.125 Gbps. Supporting architectures of up to 16 OC-48 ports, the chipset runs off of 1.8-, 2.5-, or 3.3-V supplies.

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