How to Do IC Programming During PCBA Processing

IC programming is the process of transferring a computer program into an integrated computer circuit. Older types of IC including PROMs and EPROMs.

ic programming


PCBA processing technology has become increasingly mature and has a wide range of applications. It plays a key role in today's various intelligent devices.


In order to make the board realize the function of the expected design, in addition to the hardware, it needs the matching support of software and program.


Then the question is coming: How to “transfer the Program Into the Chip?

I believe you have already known that the answer is "programming", someone also called “burning”.

Programming, the process of transferring the program into the chip's internal storage space.

There are offline programming and online programming.


the Program Into the Chip During PCBA Processing


1.Offline programming


Offline programming compatible with chips in different packages by different adapter. The chip can be used with the adapter to achieve program burning.


The adapter is a precision fixture. The different chip and package need different adapters.

Nowadays, the package is developing in the direction of small and flat BGA, QFN, etc. Such as the widely used Emmc chips. While the price of those adapters is not low.


Offline ic programming


If there is an error in the production test, you need to remove the chip from the adapter and re-program according to the prescribed process,  which will waste time and energy and the cost is high.


There are some emergencies in PCBA production. If he temperature resistance of the circuit board is not enough, the chip will be deformed when you remove the chips, which will increase the risk of scrapping.



ic program fixture


2. Online programming


The online programming uses the standard communication bus of the chip, such as USB, SWD, JTAG, UART, etc. The interface is generally fixed, and there are fewer pins to be connected during programming.

Since the interface communication rate is not high, the general cable can be used for burning without high consumption.


Because the online burning is programmed by wire connection, if an error is found during the production test, the faulty PCBA can be traced back and re-burned without disassembling the chip. This not only saves production costs, but also increases the efficiency of programming.


Online ic programming


More importantly, the production line is now developing towards automation. More and more manufacturers are adding functional test machines such as ICT and FCT to the production line. The production method using automatic fixtures and online burning can be omitted in the burning stage. Manual operation, directly burned after the board is attached, and then the PCBA is sent to the test machine for testing, and the entire production process is fully automated, which can greatly improve the production efficiency.



Therefore, in PCBA processing, the advantages of online burning are significant, and it has become one of the important indicators in the industry to measure PCBA manufacturers' process precision, production efficiency, cost, quality control, scale, and capital.