Revised: June 10, 1998

When the "B" version of Model 2400 was undertaken, the immediate purpose was to translate to a new hardware and software venue because of the impending obsolescence of Texas Instruments' TMS 9900 microprocessor. To leapfrog and to (try to) avoid further obsolescence in the future, we elected to go to the Wintel world. The development facilities provided in that language handled the man-machine interface very well and the machine-software interface much less so. Inevitably, our first offerings inconvenienced us all with work-arounds.

The general objective was to make this NEW version 3.0, more consistent, attractive and efficient, and yet similar so as to be compatible and to minimize re-learning.

1. For efficiency, many core programs were re-written. The result is that program execution is much faster. For this version, 3.0, compared to the present 2.38:

    • Loading upon startup is much faster.
    • Opening or closing a user device is 5-10 times faster.
    • Loading or unloading a screen form is 2-20 times faster; making navigation from screen to screen is quicker without unnecessary delay.
    • Saving user device is at least 20 times faster; it saves device data almost instantly without much of user notice.
    • Faster bonding technique: During bonding, the program will automatically look for the chip surface elevation at the first bond of each chip and after that it runs directly to the chip surface of remaining bonds (without running to Search and then slowly approach). The result is that bonding time is faster by 40% or more. This option is optional.

2. Editing existing user device data is more straight-forward and intuitive:

    • For viewing, device data is organized as a tree to show visually the relationships between wire types, wires, and bonds, and between chips and chip align points. These existing elements appear in the tree structure including their numbers.
    • User can copy selected bond properties (Search, Loop, ZbeforeY, BackBend, etc.) or wire type properties (Critical Bond, Parallel, Snap Angle, etc.) to other wire types.
    • User can add multiple wires by entering only the coordinates of the first and last wires, and the program automatically enters coordinates of all wires between.
    • Backup/Restore user device data option is enhanced. Each device is listed with file size and last modified date. User can sort device list by device name, file size, date either ascending or descending order. Also, user can backup a large device file to multiple span disks.
    • Edit bond pattern image option is simplified by one step. User does not need to add or delete Bond Align ID; it is taken care by the program automatically. Look for the next release, we will even make it easier and more user friendly to edit chip/bond pattern images.

3. User interface is enhanced:

    • Bond properties can be changed during bonding -- in place and in view of the side camera. While paused, any of the bond shape parameters, -- Search, Loop, ZbeforeY, BackBend, etc. -- can be changed, and the results compared between this new wire and the previous one in view. These changes can be used only momentarily or can be saved permanently.
    • Function and placement of user controls on forms have been made consistent through the whole machine operation. New controls such as Browse (popup list) has been added to make operation even more convenient. In popup list, whenever it applies user can also tag multiple selections.
    • Main menu has been rearranged to make it more user friendly. A new main menu option called Machine is added. The Machine menu option offers machine-related functions only. In contrast to version 2.38, with this version each time user make changes to machine related data such as machine configuration or calibration, data is saved immediately. Each option in this menu normally includes a Cancel button in case user does not really want to change after getting into the option. However, user device data is not saved until user confirms with the save option.

4. Motor control has been simplified and improved.

    • Some programs commanded to be executed by the separate (and slower) motor control processors have been eliminated with the result that motor runs are executed reliably and without delay.

This NEW version is to be designated 3.0. It is not a bug fix, but definitely is an upgrade. As such, we plan to offer it for sale to existing customers. It is fully compatible with previous versions and with all existing formats of User Data. It will become standard for new machine orders.

We believe customers old and new will be very pleased to examine this new software. It is truly exciting to see this degree of improvement.


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Fax: 714.704.5980

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