By tom — June 13th, 2018
Today we have an all new update for you, covering the latest developments regarding the Ockel Sirius A & Ockel Sirius A production. Without further ado, please continue reading this update.
Production of the Ockel Sirius A & Sirius A Pro
Last week we mentioned that we were almost ready for shipment. Honestly, we thought we were only one step away from shipping the Ockels to all of you; the packaging process.
However, as we continued the extensive hardware and software tests on the yet unfinished Ockel Sirius A’s, we discovered some units with a critical issue. During the accelerated aging and stress tests (as visible in the video of last week’s update), that are performed on all of final products, we discovered a percentage of Ockel Sirius A’s suddenly shutting down. This kind of defect, at the very last step of testing, is unfortunately very critical and therefore not acceptable for mass production standards. We wouldn’t have accepted 1%, but in this case the percentage of affected units was 6.4% – 11.3% (in different test batches).
Obviously, we cannot have Ockel Sirius A’s shutting down, once the Ockel Sirius A’s are shipped to all of you.
The investigation of the exact cause is currently underway. Our engineering team spent long nights to get a better understanding of the issue. We also had several meetings with our partner Intel and the engineers of the SMT factory last week. Further analyses have to be performed, in order to find the exact cause of the unforeseen shutdowns. What we already know by now is that this problem has nothing to do with the design of the PCBA, nor with any of the critical components. The fact that this is not a PCB design flaw, is very good news!
After the defected units received a new Intel CPU, they were functioning as expected and not one of them had an issue afterwards. Our current focus and the likely cause, is the surface mounting (SMT) process of the CPU. As we learnt before already, our 8 layered PCB design is extremely complex and difficult to surface mount. Perhaps some CPU’s were damaged in the process.
We quadrupled the amount of aging testruns per device. We learned that even without knowing the exact issue (yet), we can filter out the units affected, by this extended form of testing. This means that every device that leaves the production facility has been extensively tested to ensure the quality and reliability you expect.
In terms of delay, we realize this is (another) disappointment. This is a huge bummer for you as a backer, as well as for us. We were so close!
Nevertheless, we have to do all we can to guarantee all of our backers a high quality product, first and foremost. We have decided, based on the advice of Intel and our engineering team, to postpone the shipments.
One of the largest challenges is the fact that CNY (Chinese New Year) has officially begun. This means that our Chinese technical partners are off duty to celebrate the year of the dog. Unfortunately, this means that we are facing a delay that effects our timeline with two weeks at a minimum. We did find a way to keep the investigation running during the CNY and the planned investigations will be picked up immediately after the engineers return. Therefore, we expect to be able to ship the Ockel Sirius A’s very shortly after the CNY has ended.
Meeting with Microsoft
Along with the meetings with Intel, we also had a meeting with the EMEA Microsoft team last week. We handed out the first production models (which Tim brought back to our HQ) of the Ockel Sirius A Pro to the Microsoft representatives. They were blown away with the OoBE (Out of Box Experience) and the look & feel of the device. Microsoft invited us to a large show (START) next month in Seattle, because of the stunning quality and unique characteristics of the device. More about that show will follow later.
Hang in there!
We’ll keep you updated along the way, but during the CNY we won’t have too much news to share.
Please note that we do all we can to ship the Ockel Sirius A to you as quickly as possible. We apologize for the delay. We hope and trust that you understand that we cannot and never will sacrifice on the quality of our innovation.
That’s it for now. As always, if you have any questions regarding our products or this update, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment, here on Indiegogo. We answer all questions within 48 business hours (Monday-Friday)
See you next week,
The Ockel Team