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116 The PCB Magazine • March 2014 4 Check out the staff. Do they have enough people, and are they properly trained? Find out what their training program is. Do they re- quire a certification process for their test techni- cians? Speak to their technicians to get a feel for their level of professionalism. 5 What about certifications like ISO? It is im- portant that your test partners are ISO-com- pliant; at least that way you know that they have written procedures that they follow on a regular basis. Check out their ITAR registration, if they have it. If they don't, then make sure that they are ITAR-compliant because, if they are not, then you are not, and that may result in a serious problem for you. 6 Determine their capability for getting your boards tested and back to you in a timely manner. What are their lead times? You don't want your boards to take longer than 24 hours to test. Ask to see their records to ensure they can deliver on their promises. 7 Finally, consider their attitude. As I said earlier, you are not hiring a service as much as you are engaging a partner. Choose carefully, and make sure these are people you are going to enjoy working with. They should be open and honest and give you a good feel - ing about them. This is critically important; you need to ask yourself if you can trust these people to go the extra mile for you when that time comes. If you follow these guidelines when choos- ing your test service bureau, you will do fine, and in the end you will not only have a good test partner but you will actually have an exten- sion of your own board house, in the form of an outside test department that complements your internal test department perfectly. Try it out…put it to the test. PCB todd Kolmodin is the vice president of quality for gar- dien services usa, and an expert in electrical test and reliability issues. his new column, testing todd, now appears monthly in the pcB magazine. to contact Kolmodin, click here. researchers from the university of california, riverside and russian academy of science have demonstrated a new type of holographic memo- ry device that could provide unprecedented data storage capacity and data processing capabilities in electronic devices. the device uses spin waves, a collective oscil- lation of spins in magnetic materials, instead of the optical beams. spin waves are advantageous because they are compatible with the conven- tional electronic devices and may operate at a much shorter wavelength than optical devices, allowing for smaller electronic devices that have greater storage capacity. "the results open a new field of research, which may have tremendous impact on the de- velopment of new logic and memory devices," said lead researcher and uc riverside research professor alexander Khitun. a paper, "magnonic holographic memory," which describes the finding, has been submit- ted for publication in the journal applied physics letters. an advance copy of the paper can be accessed here. Improving Electronic Devices Using Holograms 7 TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT TEST SERVICE continues

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