JTAG/Boundary-scan tools for hardware validation and production testing have now been around for over 20 years. Over this time this test technique has gained a reputation for providing fast and accurate fault detection, and perhaps, rather unfairly, some criticisms regarding ease of use. Today’s products however have a considerably different ‘look and feel’ to the rather clunky pioneering systems of the early to mid 90s. Cost of entry has also dramatically changed, and you can now start basic boundary-scan testing for free by downloading simple utilities such as JTAGLive Buzz. For a more heavyweight solution spend a bit more budget on a fully automated system like JTAG ProVision. Whatever your choice though we believe boundary-scan can play a valuable role in your hardware debug and testing regime.
Low-cost, yet versatile
JTAGLive Studio is a comprehensive package of JTAG/boundary-scan tools that can enable both designers and manufacturing test engineers to develop complete test and programming applications – at an unprecedented low price.
Since its introduction in 2012 ‘Studio’ has established a new class of PCB test and device-programming tool-set that has dramatically lowered the cost of entry for test and hardware engineers, while still offering the many traditional benefits of JTAG/boundary-scan alongside newer technologies, like processor-controlled test.
‘Studio’ works with or without design netlist data and can be used to test interconnects (from individual nets to an entire board), logic clusters, memories and more. Studio also includes device programming for CPLD and [FPGA] configuration PROM programming. It can be further used to program flash and serial PROMs. Options for accessing the debug modes of ’processor cores allows cut-price access Processor Controlled Test (aka JTAG Emulation Test). A dedicated, USB-powered, TAP interface/controller with programmable thresholds is also supplied as part of the Studio system.
For a more fully automated approach prospective boundary-scan users might also take a look at JTAG Technologies ProVision software. Starting with a netlist imported from your EDA/CAD system, ProVision can automatically assign test models to every part of your design. For the JTAG parts these are the freely available BSDL (boundary-scan description) models while for the remaining parts models from ProVision’s extensive library are used. With netlist data and models in place ProVision can automatically create a suite of board tests for device interconnections, device functionality in addition to programming applications for flash memories, PROMs, CPLDs etc..
Completed applications can be applied to your design using a variety of software interfaces and tester hardware platforms such as USB, Ethernet, PXI(e) etc..
The benefits offered by JTAG technology for debugging, testing and in-system programming are no longer limited to complex designs with many JTAG devices. Today, designs with only a few (even one or two) JTAG devices can also greatly benefit from this technology throughout their life cycle. Such designs can now be matched to a cost-effective JTAG toolset making it economically feasible for most companies to adopt a JTAG/Boundary-scan strategy. A strategy that can be used throughout a product’s life-cycle – from board bring-up to field service and repair. For further details or a free design testability review contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit web-sites www.jtaglive.com or www.jtag.com .