On January 6th, it was the coldest day in Minnesota since 1996. What did we do? Naturally, we went outdoors to conduct a few experiments!

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It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means our US office will be closed for a long weekend and many of us will be cooking a turkey.

Most of us will use an oven, but since we’re engineers, we wonder: how would NASA cook a bird? The writers at Gizmodo asked, and they received four simple to understand, but difficult to execute ideas. Take a look here!

According to a report by SEMI.org,  the September book-t0-bill ratio for semiconductor equipment was at 0.81.

Bookings are 12% lower than the previous month, but almost 3% higher than the same period from 2011.

Although the book-to-bill level has dropped steadily throughout the year, Intel’s recent earnings were better than expected – do you think billings will continue to slide, or is the industry poised for a bounce back?

Last year, we tried shooting a few fireworks at a probe card to show how tough it was. We thought that test went okay, but we thought it would be fun to use a little more fire power.

So we picked up a box of 45 various (Minnesota legal) fireworks, lined them off, and lit our kludged fuse. This is what happened.


Embedded below for viewers outside of the US.

How tough are Celadon probe cards, really? We took the opportunity to soak up some of the hot Minnesota summer sun to see.

As you can see above, we shot fireworks at one of our cards – it survived handily, so we decided we need to do that again, with a lot more fireworks.

Another test that we did was taking an internal connector card and placing it on a barbecue. In a continuous shot (sped up a lot at points), here’s what happened.

So, as you can see from the video, the card survived temperatures that were as hot as 200°C (we didn’t crank the grill up more, because we were also cooking lunch!), and aside from a lot of debris from the grill, the ceramic was intact and the probes were in essentially the same position as they were before.

Are there any other tests you’d like us to do with probe cards? Leave a suggestion in the comments, and we’ll film our favorite ideas!