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Touring the Memory Giants - Kingmax and Kingpak - Inside Kingmax Continued

Each year the always hectic and ever exciting city of Taipei plays host to Computex - The biggest computer trade show in Asia and what is considered by many as one of the most interesting and spicy shows in the world. The trip was broken up into company meetings, company parties and we can't forget factory tours - in particular tours of Kingmax and Kingpak which Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot tells us about today in his latest article.

By: | Editorials in RAM | Posted: Jun 17, 2002 4:00 am

Inside Kingmax Continued


The first machine, from Advantest, tests the chips which have came from the Kingpak factory. We weren't giving much technical information throughout the tour but the pictures should do a great deal of the talking for me.



As we proceed through the tour, the chips which pass the first test are put into a big heater; in the simplest of terms, a large machine which performs the "burn-in" test on all the chips, a picture of this machine is pictured below. The picture below it is of the chips coming out in trays from the other side of the machine, just like a typical bakery oven setup - I didn't recall seeing any dough anywhere around the place, though. :)




The chips which pass this test are then set to be applied to the PCB of the memory sticks along with all the transistors and what not. Before this can happen though, a grayish color paste is applied to the reserve side of the PCB sheets which acts as an adhesive once the sticks are moved through the oven, this we will talk more about shortly.


The shot below shows a bare sheet of PCB for the memory sticks. Each separate stick is laser cut using a nifty machine (pictured further below) after the memory chips, controller chip, transistors and so forth are applied to the original bare PCB sheet.


The final picture of the group shows the machine which actually applies the chips to the PCB - This thing was a real speedster and did its thing real fast indeed. In fact, it moved so fast that I had to wait for it to stop its cycle so the photo wouldn't blur out.





Next we reach the oven process where all the chips are dried solid onto the PCB (using the gray paste like we talked about earlier) through a long and skinny oven which has a maximum operating temperature of 360 degrees Celsius.



Once the PCB sticks have passed through the short oven hardening process, they are then checked manually with the use of a powerful magnified glass, as you can see in the picture below.



Once the PCB stick has been passed, they are then cut up using the laser cutting machine like I showed you earlier, into individual sticks. From there they are moved to a rather cool machine which I particularly liked, and wish I owned for that matter. Its job was to program the speed of the memory to the controller chip - programmable speeds included frequency and cache latency settings.


In the first picture below there is a shot of the controller chip, the smallest chip toward the bottom right of the stick. The second photo shows a picture of the actual machine, while the final photo shows a close up of what is being displayed on the machines screen - Very cool, don't you agree - Someone please get me one of these for Christmas this year!





From here the memory is tested once again to see if the speeds were programmed in correctly, we don't want any DDR 800 slipping through by mistake now, do we? ;) The picture below shows the memory being tested for correct speed settings.



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