We made our way to Geil to take a look at their memory sorting laboratory. Yes, we know it’s past their work hour, but we just had to bring you the peeks. Lab tour inside.
Compared to some bigger memory makers (think Kingston, Micron), Geil actually looks dimunitive by comparison. The little company packs a punch however; you would see why in this tour.
Geil (otherwise known as Golden Emperor International Ltd.) actually occupies two floors of an industrial complex at Lian Cheng Rd, Taipei. One floor handles the adminstration while the other is the floor where the RAM sorting process is carried out. We’re touring the floor that actually handles the Ball Grid Array (BGA) chips.
The floor looks unoccupied mainly because most of the test jigs and staff have called it a day. From a hobbyist perspective, BGA work seldom calls for clean room environments, but tidiness and static-awareness is evident in this space.
Next we look at the Evo III Memory Tester. According to Geil staff, this machine was designed by Geil engineers and contract produced. From afar, it looks like a vacuum pick-and-place machine. A closer look reveals that it is somewhat more specialised that that.
The BGA chips are “socketed” and the tester runs a sequence. Speed binning is automated this way, allowing 2.5kU of DDR3 memory BGAs to be sorted in an hour. There are a few of these machines doing sorting at any one point in time.
Here you see the interface of the RAM sorter. As much as we’d have liked, no, we didn’t punch the Big Red Button.
After the individual RAM BGAs are sorted, they would be whisked away for soldering onto Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) to become memory modules. By using contract manufacturing services for the mundane stuff, Geil is able to create speed binned memory modules with a unique outlook. Finished RAM don’t make it into the boxes just yet.
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