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Data I/O celebrates 30 years in device programming

14 August 2002 News

Data I/O, a leading provider of device programming and handling solutions, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this quarter. Since the company introduced the world's first commercial programmer in 1972, it has consulted with many leading electronic manufacturers in order to develop innovative solutions.

Examples of these are the world's fastest inline programming system, the ProLINE-RoadRunner, and the most cost-effective manual programming system, FlashPAK.

"For 30 years, Data I/O has remained a leader in an industry that is constantly evolving," said Fred Hume, president of Data I/O Corporation. "Data I/O accomplished this by combining innovation with a deep understanding of its customers' business needs."

Some of Data I/O's accomplishments over the past 30 years include: 1972 - introduced the world's first commercial device programmer (PROMs); 1980 - introduced the first universal device programmer; 1986 - invented the universal pindriver; 1992 - developed and introduced the first automated programming system; 1995 - introduced the first fine-pitch automated programming system; 2000 - launched unique innovative inline programming solution - ProLINE-RoadRunner; 2001 - first supplier to bring e-commerce capability to the industry; 2002 - invented world's fastest and most cost-effective manual Flash programming system - FlashPAK; 2002 - launching innovative solutions to network programming processes between engineering and manufacturing supply chains.

30 years of change

While Data I/O's spirit of innovation may not have changed, the semiconductor device programming industry has changed a great deal over 30 years. When Data I/O introduced the world's first commercial device programmer in 1972, a list of all the available devices could fit on a single sheet of paper, and Data I/O's first programmer accepted algorithms from a punched paper tape.

One of the most important changes has been the dramatic increase in device programming speed. Devices supported by Data I/O's Model 1 typically programmed at speeds of 0,2 seconds per byte, compared to its newest solution that programs at speeds of 0,24 s/Mb. This rise in programming speed is a response to several industry trends, including larger file sizes and faster silicon. Current Flash Memory devices have densities up to 256 Mb (32 MB), but the PROMs used by Data I/O customers 30 years ago were considered state-of-the-art at only 64 bytes density. Moreover, as competitive pressures force companies to implement lean manufacturing strategies, programming must be done very efficiently - despite frequent code changes, firmware upgrades, and decentralised manufacturing.

Recognising the need for fast, efficient programming, Data I/O is continuing its 30-year tradition of innovation by introducing the 'Connected programming strategy' that connects engineering to manufacturing, business processes to business systems, and the programming supply chain to its users.

"Along with our high-speed programming solutions, the connected programming strategy enables seamless transfer of data, just-in-time programming, minimised inventory, flexible manufacturing, and faster time-to-market," says Hume.

The statistics in Table 1 show how far the industry has come over 30 years.

Table 1
Table 1

For more information: Van Zyl Koegelenberg, Spescom MeasureGraph, 011 266 1500.





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