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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Two Startups Are Bringing Fiber to the Processor

Avicena’s blue microLEDs are the dark horse in a race with Ayar Labs’ laser-based system

5 min read
Diffuse blue light shines from a patterned surface through a ring. A blue cable leads away from it.

Avicena’s microLED chiplets could one day link all the CPUs in a computer cluster together.


If a CPU in Seoul sends a byte of data to a processor in Prague, the information covers most of the distance as light, zipping along with no resistance. But put both those processors on the same motherboard, and they’ll need to communicate over energy-sapping copper, which slow the communication speeds possible within computers. Two Silicon Valley startups, Avicena and Ayar Labs, are doing something about that longstanding limit. If they succeed in their attempts to finally bring optical fiber all the way to the processor, it might not just accelerate computing—it might also remake it.

Both companies are developing fiber-connected chiplets, small chips meant to share a high-bandwidth connection with CPUs and other data-hungry silicon in a shared package. They are each ramping up production in 2023, though it may be a couple of years before we see a computer on the market with either product.

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