Category: Boundary Scan

Serial ATA 3 (SATA 3, or SATA III) is a differential bus running at 6Gbps. It’s commonly used on computer motherboards, such as notebooks, to connect to mass storage devices. How do you know if your hard disk or flash drive is running at full speed?
PCI Express (PCIe) buses, in particularly Gen3, are susceptible to defects which may be masked from conventional test. What are these defects and how are they detected?
Testing high-speed memories soldered to a circuit board is as elusive as it is critical for overall system performance. Testing DDR3 and DDR4 memory buses can be particularly tricky, given the fact that DDR is so fast and that the bus carries the clock and data on both the rising and falling edges of the signal. Sorting all of that out and making sure it stays sorted out over the life cycle of a system can be a daunting challenge.
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.