Category: Boundary Scan

Today’s flying probe testers can give high structural test coverage, making them ideal for prototype board bring-up and low-volume manufacturing. But they can be darned slow. Can boundary scan help?
Isn’t it a great time to be a board designer? Compared to twelve years ago, the average number of nets has gone from 1,544 to 2,832; the number of pin-to-pin connections has increased from 7,661 to 13,573; the number of components has grown from 1,120 to 3,518; and many other challenges to the job have arisen.
Board bring-up is a phased process whereby an electronics system is repeatedly tested, validated and debugged, in order to achieve readiness for manufacture. This process can take so long that a product never gets to market because it is succeeded by the next generation...
Programming NOR or large NAND flash devices can be done using a variety of technologies, including boundary scan (JTAG), processor-controlled test (emulation), or FPGA-controlled test. Which embedded instrument you use is a trade-off between speed, complexity and cost.
I was reflecting on how much processor speeds, memory, and data transmission rates have increased over the last few decades. And yet the same old tools and techniques are often used to bring up new designs. When do you think we fall off the cliff?
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