One of the most pressing problems for system manufacturers is testing memory and memory buses on circuit boards. The speeds are simply too high, and signals get easily distorted when touched by probes.

Performing signal integrity validation with traditional high-end capital equipment such as oscilloscopes is a very expensive proposition. Fortunately, Intel Interconnect Built-In Self Test (IBIST) technology now allows designers to simply, effectively and inexpensively margin their designs through a wide range of process/voltage/temperature (PVT) variables without employing an oscilloscope. This new ‘5×5’ approach (5 runs on 5 systems) allows OEMs and ODMs to hit the sweet spot between not enough testing, which can result in field repairs, warranty replacements and lost customers, and too much testing, which is overly expensive, resulting in lost profit, reduced sales and could lead to missing a market window.

An old story compares the electronics industry’s unprecedented achievements with the automotive industry. If cars had kept pace with Silicon Valley, we could buy a vehicle with a V32 engine and capable of 10,000 mph; or a 30 pound car that gets 1,000 miles to the gallon — either one at a sticker price of less than $50!