A Better Platform for Testing Circuit Boards

Bringing augmented reality to circuit board development by overlaying the PCB with relevant information in real-time

1 min read
circuit boards

inspectAR uses a smartphone or a webcam. No AR glasses required.


inspectAR is an electronics productivity tool uniquely adapted to lab bench work. By separating a circuit board layout into an AR object consisting of nets and components, anyone who works on a circuit board physically can instantly connect to the expertise of the PCB designer.

circuit boardinspectAR can quickly identify test points on any design

Previously, while testing PCBs, you had to switch between circuit diagrams, pin assignments, data sheets and a prototype. Now, by clicking on a component you're brought to its datasheet, supplier information, and a design-specific pinout. A complex net, such as 'GND' on a 12-layer board can be reduced to a set of probeable points, even if a test point was not configured in the design. In the case of fine-pitch components with a small distance between their pins, counting to the pin to-be-measured is error-prone. This first-in-market technology simplifies the analysis and repair of hardware products through augmented reality.

circuit board

inspectAR overcomes the barrier of using software to interpret a design in the real-world by using a camera and image calibration to PCB manufacturing files (Only a mobile phone or external webcam is required).

Whether for tele-engineering, remote design collaboration, co-debugging, inner layer visualization, instant component lookup, net searching while in the lab, or easier-than-ever work instruction diagrams, inspectAR helps the modern hardware teams of today turn their PCB into a live and interactive, model-based piece of documentation once it comes back from the factory tomorrow.

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The Conversation (0)

3D-Stacked CMOS Takes Moore’s Law to New Heights

When transistors can’t get any smaller, the only direction is up

10 min read
An image of stacked squares with yellow flat bars through them.
Emily Cooper

Perhaps the most far-reaching technological achievement over the last 50 years has been the steady march toward ever smaller transistors, fitting them more tightly together, and reducing their power consumption. And yet, ever since the two of us started our careers at Intel more than 20 years ago, we’ve been hearing the alarms that the descent into the infinitesimal was about to end. Yet year after year, brilliant new innovations continue to propel the semiconductor industry further.

Along this journey, we engineers had to change the transistor’s architecture as we continued to scale down area and power consumption while boosting performance. The “planar” transistor designs that took us through the last half of the 20th century gave way to 3D fin-shaped devices by the first half of the 2010s. Now, these too have an end date in sight, with a new gate-all-around (GAA) structure rolling into production soon. But we have to look even further ahead because our ability to scale down even this new transistor architecture, which we call RibbonFET, has its limits.

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