Functional test used in manufacturing production has always been something of a challenge. Often it boils down to a make-versus-buy decision. If the tests are built in-house, there is always the pressure to get it done quicker, often due to the development schedule squeezing the production test development schedule into a shorter time window. Then development time becomes a major concern. If the test is bought, these are often generic tools that need environmental tweaking or limiting of the test robustness that was originally desired. There are simply too many tradeoffs.
Test Engineering desires are for a robust test, which is quickly developed and has precise diagnostics that afford maximum coverage. That shouldn’t be too much to ask, but with Intel® platforms, it is really challenging to understand the complexity of the design and to develop the test program quickly. Designs are often modifications of existing Customer Reference Boards (CRBs) or reference validation platforms from Intel. Even with that as advance information, the test development can’t begin soon enough to meet the already tight schedule. Besides, the ideal test would exercise each device and endpoint if possible to see that it functionally behaves as required; that is a lot of coding, and can’t be developed until a prototype is ready. Device initialization for the PCH, PCIe, DMI and others can be daunting. Memory test development is yet another challenge. The best approach would be one where there was a model for the platform UUT or test routines that were pulled off the shelf with detailed device knowledge that can be quickly integrated into the test platform.
There is a tool that provides for test development that uses the modeling approach of devices and platforms, combined with automation which decreases the development time from weeks to days and provides robust testing with precise pin diagnostics. By using models, the developer can use the tool to increase the total test coverage by selecting the model and enabling the test. Test customization is supported by simple additions to the scripts if necessary. To find out about how this tool accomplishes this and also supports interactive test development, read the eBook “Increasing test coverage on current Intel platforms.”