Behind Closed Doors @ Corsair Memory, Inc.

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Introduction:

Last month I was able to get out to California and was given the opportunity to go behind closed doors at Corsair and tour their entire company. Corsair modules are assembled in Fremont, California by a work force of almost 140 employees working two full shifts. I was shown everything they had at their facility, from the Marketing Department to being able to walk up and down the production line while it was in full swing. Corsair was also happy so show how they manufacture what we have found to be some of the best performing memory in the world.



Sunrise in Fremont! Don’t Have those hills in Missouri



Looking at the three assembly lines

After waking up at the crack of dawn I headed over to see where and how all the memory we review is produced and tested! Corsair’s facility is nice and modern as you can tell from the outside shot. Their factory was kept extremely clean and had designated walk areas to help keep static electricity issues at a minimum. The first side of the factory I visited was the assembly line. Corsair currently has three assembly lines with a fourth that was in the process of being added when I visited. Corsair explained to me that their XMS and server memory lines are manufactured here at the Fremont facility, but their value line is assembled over seas to keep prices competitive with other manufacturers.



One of Corsair’s Silk Screeners



Checking for proper alignment

The first machine that was shown to me was the silk screener. The memory module PCB’s come on a sheet (6-8 modules per sheet) and must be properly aligned with a template to ensure that the lead solder will be inline with the tracings. This is done manually with the aid of some electronic microscopes at two corners of the sheet. (Opposite corners are the best place to look at for alignment issues) Once the PCB’s are set correctly in the jig they are slid over to the right and the machine screens the lead solder on the PCB’s.



One of Corsair’s Pick-n’-Place Machines



One of their monster ovens!

Once the PCB’s have the solder on them in the correct places they are then placed into the “Pick-n’-Place” which takes the individual components of the module and places them correctly on the PCB’s. This machine is quick! We were impressed by the speed, but were told by Corsiar that faster one’s are available if they ever wanted to speed their line up. The memory IC’s are located on a tray inside the machine and the white reels contain transistor’s and other components that are picked up by the eight head unit and placed on the PCB’s. Once the modules have the correct pieces placed on them they go right into the oven and are soldered on the PCB’s. The above right picture is a better shot of the same type of oven that is used for this.



After the oven the modules can be broken apart in this fixture



After the modules are broken apart they are visually inspected

After the sheet of PCB’s has been allowed to cool the modules can be broken apart from the sheet using a simple fixture. Now that the modules are now separated and fully assembled they are given a quick visual inspection before being sent to the other side of the building for SPD programming and testing.

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