New JTAG tools that extend boundary scan test capabilities can help military designers meet the test access challenges that come with the most advanced COTS silicon.
Thales UK uses XJTAG's boundary scan development system to debug and test complex PCBs in its software-defined radios (SDRs). The system debugs and tests the baseband PCBs that form part of the MSN 8100-H SDR, European operational software radio. The radio is designed for naval and ground-based applications and is on the Royal Navy's next class of Destroyers, the Type 45, scheduled to enter service in 2009.
SMS Electronics in Beeston, Nottingham is one of the largest EMS companies in the UK. Its customers are vendors of advanced, complex products including telecom, medical and industrial equipment. Its services span design for manufacture and test, rapid prototyping, procurement, PCB and full product build, test and life cycle support, and the company currently supports more than 600 live products.
SMS Electronics has invested in the XJTAG boundary scan development system to speed up fault diagnosis on complex boards with multiple JTAG devices such as ball grid arrays (BGAs) and limited test points – and to assist with a flurry of RoHS-led redesign work.
XJTAG, a supplier of boundary scan development tools, has extended the capabilities of its JTAG test development system with an expansion board that should improve test coverage and fault diagnosis on complex printed circuits.
Modern JTAG test systems are an effective answer to today’s test challenges, particularly as modern boards tend to be small and densely-populated, and feature increasing numbers of ball grid array (BGA) chips, such as FPGAs. The number of JTAG-compliant components on the market today is also increasing, and engineers can exploit this by using powerful tools to achieve high test coverage without requiring physical access.
Dominic Plunkett explains why the increasing use of BGAs is fuelling a surge of interest in boundary scan testing among board designers and test engineers.