Conventional assembly automation techniques cannot provide the continuous improvement in cost and yield necessary for today’s environment. PI’s groundbreaking parallel gradient search allows simultaneous optimization of multiple degrees of freedom, elements and channels. To date, these alignments needed to be performed in serial fashion in time-consuming loops, since dependencies are unavoidable between degrees of freedom and between elements. For example, alignment of an element in theta-X/theta-Y usually must be interrupted to correct for geometric errors introduced in X and Y, and then the process repeated. With PI’s parallel technology, these alignments can typically be performed in one step, reducing the time required by typically 99% or more while improving yield. Similarly, dependencies between elements formerly necessitated gradual, sequential alignments of each in a loop to achieve an overall consensus alignment. Parallel optimization allows these alignments to be achieved in one step.