Category: Processor-Controlled Test (PCT)

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?
Ever have a PC die after a couple weeks or just after the warranty expires? Or perhaps the PC never powered up! Or maybe you have features like USB, a display or camera on the PC that don’t work. So you attempt to return it to the store where you purchased it only to find that it has to go back to the manufacturer. Ever wonder where those motherboards or laptop returns go? Or do you wonder how or why the faulty product ever shipped in the first place? I’ll first address the question of repair and then quality.
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.
Embedded run-control (aka on-chip debug, or processor debug port control) has numerous benefits in the areas of test and debug, for Design Engineering, Manufacturing Test Engineering, and Field Service. What are they?
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?
I read a very interesting article recently making the case for programming PLDs and Flash Memory at In-Circuit Test (ICT). But there may be better alternatives - see what do you think...