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Keysight is the first to answer the call for more test point accessibility on today’s densely populated Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). Keysight Medalist Bead Probe Technology specifies how test targets, or bead probes, can be placed directly onto copper signal traces, providing test access points virtually anywhere on a board layout, resulting in superior test coverage.

This proven and thoroughly tested methodology will provide electronics manufacturers with excellent in-circuit test access on today’s increasingly dense PCBs as well as designs with high-speed circuits. Bead Probe Technology can be implemented with no changes to existing Surface Mount Technology (SMT) processes and with no additional costs!



  • Provides excellent test access on dense or high-speed boards where In-Circuit Test (ICT) may not have been previously feasible.
  • Beads can be placed directly on high-speed traces while maintaining excellent signal integrity.
  • Eliminates the need for costly and time consuming re-routing of signal paths during layout to accommodate traditional test pads. Products get to market faster when time consuming negotiation between design and test departments is reduced.
  • Allows for more probing options which simplifies and reduces the cost of ICT test fixtures.
  • Bead probes can be implemented using current SMT solder mask and solder paste stencil processes with no additional costs or process steps.

What Manufacturers Are Saying About Bead Probe Technology


“Over 1.5 million data points lead us to believe that solder-bead probing is not only feasible in a high volume production environment, but can be successfully implemented without any increase in cost or restrictions to design flexibility” – A major electronics OEM after an in-depth evaluation of Keysight Medalist Bead Probe Technology

The Keysight Advantage

Bead probes can be placed on any PCB, however only the Keysight Medalist 3070 and i5000 in-circuit testers give you the most benefit from these additional probing locations. For example, Keysight’s fixturing software will automatically optimize which beads to probe to minimize the use of more costly 39 and 50 mil probes, which means lower fixturing cost.  In fact that’s not all, Keysight in-circuit testers optimize probing locations to minimize board flex that could potentially damage the board assembly during ICT. Only Keysight provides an integrated fixturing solution that is bead probe-ready!

Getting Started

Manufacturers who own Keysight Medalist In-circuit Test systems can obtain right-to-use licenses directly from Keysight Technologies.  A copy of the “Bead Probe Handbook: Successfully Implementing Bead Probes in Practice” is included with each license. This comprehensive how-to guide developed by Keysight details the procedures for the successful implementation of bead probes on today’s PCBs. It includes valuable information for the entire value-added chain from board design to layout process and test. 

To facilitate industry adoption of bead probes, Equipment Licenses will be available to other non-Keysight ICT vendors. Once these non-Keysight vendors purchase Equipment Licenses, their systems then become “Keysight Licensed” and their customers can apply for Customer Licenses. They may then legally implement bead probes on their PCBs and test them on non-Keysight ICT systems.

To request additional licensing information, please contact us today.

Interested to know more innovative technologies? See our Super 7 Suite of solutions

Need an industry's leading In-circuit test platform? Find out more about our Medalist i3070 systems

Looking for a low-cost In-Circuit test system with digital capability? See our latest i1000D systems