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Case Studies
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The Automated System Marginer

Precision tested, power perfected

The Automated System Marginer (ASM) was developed for Compaq Computer Corporation. At the time, Compaq was a colossus in the computer business, but needed to help. That’s why they came to MTSI for help developing four new stations in their personal computer manufacturing and reliability analysis laboratories.

Microsoft Windows was the operating system and user interface. The multi-tasking ability of Windows and ease of use were key reasons for the choice.

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The Automated System Marginer exercised all combinations of AC and DC power supplies and clock cycles over a wide range of temperatures. Up to 127 different tests could be run in sequence.

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The tester communicated with the device under test using the universal RS-232 interface, so the tester could test virtually any IBM-compatible computer system. The ASM reported all test voltages and sequenced the test results to the operator and to a real-time disk log. 

These tests could take days to execute, so it was important that the operator understood where in the test sequence the tester was at any given time.

The operator had the option to control the +5, -5, +12, -12, and Power Okay signals manually or automatically. Hi/Lo limits and test steps could be set. The AC line voltage could be set to any frequency or voltage for international test capability. The clock frequency, voltage levels and rise and fall times could also be set — and all settings saved to disk.