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Intel to test processors with X-ray

Intel has recently decided to use X-ray to bring out finished product defects and improve quality. The new X-ray stand, created by British X-Tek with the direct assistance of Intel´s engineers, creates a 3D X-ray image enabling to reveal defects of new prototypes and optimize interaction of new device components.

It took about six years to develop the stand. Having invested into the project about $1.6 million, Intel got the right to purchase the first five such X-ray tools.

Intel´s quality audit requires over $300 million annually, with more than 2500 engaged specialists worldwide. On the platform design stage they simulate signal spread and synchronization and conduct hard simulations at the component, chip, and entire system levels. After samples are released, they are strictly tested at the system level along with the electrical parameter checking and the comprehensive compatibility tests for over 20 operating systems, 150 peripheral devices and 400 applications. The check includes more than 250 thousand subtests using over 600 software applications. Moreover, Pentium 4 CPUs undergo a trillion (!) of random instruction checks a week. Reference mobile platforms are to pass about 26 thousand hours of additional testing. System checks consist of about 6-8 weeks of round-the-clock usage.

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