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Bead probe technology-Description-PCB

Bead probe technology-Description-PCB

Bead probe technology

Side and end view showing a solder bead providing access to a trace located under the solder mask

Bead probe technology (BPT) is technique used to provide electrical access (called “nodal access”) to printed circuit board (PCB) circuitry for performing in-circuit testing (ICT). It makes use of small beads of solder placed onto the board's traces to allow measuring and controlling of the signals using a test probe. This permits test access to boards on which standard ICT test pads are not feasible due to space constraints.


Bead probe technology is a probing method used to connect electronic test equipment to the device under test (DUT) within a bed of nails fixture. The technique was first used in the 1990s and originally given the name “Waygood Bump” after one of the main proponents, Rex Waygood. They are also commonly referred to as solder bumps. Bead probes were designed for when less than 30 mil is available for test probe points on the PCB. They are used with standard ICT spring-loaded test probes to connect the test equipment to the DUT.

Side view of a PCB showing a solder bead and test probe.

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