Palit Microsystems Ltd (aka 同德股份有限公司) is known to be one of the oldest standing GPU-manufacturing giant in the industry that is responsible for some of the commonly seen graphics card brands you’ve seen in the market i.e Palit, Gainward and Galaxy. And just so you know, Palit Microsystems Ltd are also the OEM for brands such as Colorful, Onda, Unika, Maxsun and Yeston.
We were given the opportunity to attend Palit Microsystems Ltd’s 30th anniversary just a week ago at Shenzhen, China, as well as a one-day factory tour to have a better idea on what’s actually going on behind the scene of GPU manufacturing process.
Pilot Electronics and Tai-Hui Electronics
Pilot Electronics and Tai-Hui Electronics is the main production lines for Palit Microsystems Ltd, which consists of up to 21 SMT lines in total. As Pilot Electronics also does the manufacturing for motherboards, the 11 SMT lines it has will prioritize more on the motherboards, giving an estimated number of 1 million pieces of graphics card and 4 million pieces of motherboards produced every year.
As for Tai-Hui Electronics, graphics cards are given higher priority in order to keep up with the market demand. Tai-Hui Electronics alone with its 10 SMT lines, is capable of producing 3 million pieces of graphics card every year.
Both Pilot Electronics and Tai-Hui Electronics are using the same equipment as shown in the photos above for its production line. The equipment used in the SMT lines includes machines such as:
- solder paste printing machine
- high-speed and multi-functional mounting module
- reflow oven
- dehumidifier oven
- wave soldering oven
- temperature and humidity simulator
- vibration tester
- 3D X-ray scanner
Although we weren’t able to get a closer shot on some of the equipment available, we’re truly fascinated for being able to see the actual process in person – not all of course.
Cooler / Heatsink Assembly
After the major components are mounted and soldered to the PCB, it is ready for the cooler or heatsink assembly. The assembly are done by hand, which starts from cleaning the PCB and its components to mounting the heatsink and its cooling fan. As we can see throughout the process, the worker on each stop are trained to do only a specific task only so that things are kept simple and well controlled.
Further Inspection and Stress Test
Once the cooling fans and heatsink are mounted, these cards are sent to the next station for further inspection. Arriving at each station at this point, the cards will go through a series of stress test to make sure there’s no artifacts or defects, and it performs just as intended.
The test environment is capable of handling Only cards that get past these stations will be sent to the next station for the packaging.
Cards arriving at this station are the ones that will be heading to the end users. Stickers for serial numbers, certification and branding will be attached to the final product, followed by packing the card in a anti-static bag.
Palit Factory Tour – Final Thoughts
Palit Microsystems Ltd has been operating since the year of 1988 and the factory tour is indeed an eye-opening experience, for being able to take a closer look at what does it takes for one to become one of the GPU-manufacturing giant in the industry. Of course, other manufacturers will have a different processes in between, but from the looks of it, majority of the processes involved are pretty similar in nature.
Throughout the entire process, we can see that Palit Microsystems Ltd is taking these details seriously. Despite having skilled workers machinery capable delivering high performance and precision in each station, there will always be someone there to inspect the result at the end to ensure that the job done is aligned with the standard operating procedure – all the effort necessary to deliver the best quality and performance to the end-users.