The world of validation has changed dramatically over the last few years due to the added challenge of increasing bus speeds. My observation across the industry is there are two camps companies are aligning on. In one camp, validation has changed significantly due to the bus speeds and board access challenges. In the other camp, validation is considered too costly due to the signal integrity (SI) challenges and is either minimized or eliminated…
For the companies that have limited their validation efforts, the increased cost in warranty and repair is justifying a return to a diligent validation strategy. Unfortunately, this re-active strategy will have an impact on product quality and overall company branding on the generation of products where validation was limited or eliminated.
The challenge for management has been justifying the cost of validation. Time-to-market is the key component of validation. The overall goal for Validation has been to move the new product design to High Volume Manufacturing (HVM) ASAP. Revenue is tied to product sales. The added challenges of increased bus speeds can impact the effort and resources needed for validating next-generation product designs.
The key is automation! The paradigm shift for the camp that is pro-actively changing the way they validate is to utilized embedded instruments for performing fundamental measurements like BERT and Margining and automating the process, so that more testing can be done in less time to meet the demands of getting new products to market.