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Bare-Board Fixture and Electrical Test Software

Since 1985, GCA has provided rock-solid software to printed-circuit fabricators. The EDR system, originally developed by GCA for Data General and later sold to Excellon was the first PCB CAM system in the world. It provided features for design rule checking and panelizing of artwork. EDR enabled the transition from customer-provided film to fabrication from first-generation artwork. In the 80's, GCA shifted its focus to bare-board electrical test.

GCA's ET sofware was the first to address the tough problem of generating netlists directly from circuit-board artwork accurately and completely. With GCA, customers could be assured that the netlist they were using exactly matched the customer-supplied artwork.

GCA's netlist comparison software allows fabricators to compare a customer-supplied netlist with the arwork-generated netlist. GCA's compare has helped customers avoid millions of dollars of wasted production that would otherwise have resulted in boards that don't work.

Other late-arrivers to the bare-board test market tried to avoid the tough challenge of netlist generation by using error-laden customer netlists. As test equipment grew more sophisticated and boards became more complicated, they kept adding information to the IPC-D-356 file until it almost has become an artwork standard instead of a test-point database. At GCA, we always knew that the best way to target features on a circuit board is to use the data from which the board was built. We believe that you build test data from the artwork data, then compare the artwork data to the customer's netlist as an added check. GCA's trademark extract-compare method lets customers build fixtures and flying-probe downloads that accurately target circuit board features.

GCA's flying probe generation softare is the first choice for service bureaus as well as high-end customers. They know the test program will contain all the necessary test points and an accurate netlist. GCA's software improves productivity and avoids escapes. GCA's software is in use at the largest high-end circuit fabricators in more than a dozen countries throughout the world.