Boundary scan performs structural electrical tests on circuit boards, sub-assemblies and systems, but certain resources must be embedded into semiconductor chips and circuit boards for the technology to be most effective.
Boundary scan is an excellent example of how the efforts of a cross-industry group can benefit all of the electronics industry, said Jim McElroy, iNEMI's chief executive officer. If we can generate greater support for boundary scan among electronic design automation (EDA) tools suppliers and chip makers, many of the downstream electronics companies such as circuit board makers and systems providers stand to benefit greatly because their products will improve in quality. Their test procedures will be more comprehensive and less costly.
As a first step in the process, iNEMI's boundary scan project group is undertaking a survey of the electronics industry to determine the technology's current adoption rate and to identify any possible impediments to more widespread use of boundary scan. If obstacles are identified, the group will develop and implement solutions for removing them. Alan Sguigna, vice president of marketing and sales, represents ASSET on iNEMI's boundary scan project group.
Since its development in the 1990s, adoption of boundary scan has benefited the industry greatly. We want to expand upon this base and take it up to another level, said Sguigna. We feel that the boundary scan ecosystem is not yet complete and we want to do what we can to ensure this technology can be applied effectively in design validation, test and debug applications for chips, circuit boards and systems. This will pave the way for other standards that support methodologies for more complex embedded instruments, such as the Internal JTAG (IJTAG IEEE P1687) standard that is currently being developed.
ScanWorks� The Embedded Instrumentation Platform
ASSET, through its ScanWorks platform, is applying the experience it has gained from two decades as a leading supplier of boundary-scan test tools utilizing JTAG access to the development of open embedded instrumentation tools. The boundary-scan infrastructure that is embedded into chips and circuit boards is one of several technologies that can form the basis for an embedded instrumentation toolset. In recent years, ASSET has significantly enhanced its ScanWorks� platform with embedded instrumentation capabilities such as CPU-emulation functional test, signal integrity analysis utilizing embedded Intel� IBIST (Interconnect Built In Self Test) technology and others.
With its advanced automation, data acquisition and data analysis features, ScanWorks will continue as a leading platform for structural boundary-scan test. It has become the boundary-scan system of choice for practically all major communication and defense/avionics suppliers, including Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, Tellabs, Huawei, Raytheon, Rockwell, Lockheed Martin, BAE, ITT, Northrop Grumman, GE Aviation and others. In addition, ScanWorks' adoption by companies like Microsoft for its Xbox 360 video game console and Delphi for its automotive electronics demonstrates that ScanWorks will continue its leadership as boundary scan proliferates in computers, set-top boxes, consumer electronics, industrial controls, automotive and other industries.
About ASSET InterTech
ASSET InterTech is a supplier of open tools for embedded instrumentation to engineers doing design validation, test and debug. The ScanWorks platform provides automation, access and analysis tools in one environment. Users can quickly and easily validate and test semiconductors, circuit boards or entire systems during every phase of a product's life, including design, manufacturing/repair and field maintenance. In addition, chips can be programmed in-system after they have been soldered to a circuit board. ASSET's MicroMaster product line employs true CPU emulation technology to perform extensive functional test and diagnostic routines on circuit boards and chips, and to program logic and memory devices in-system at high CPU speeds. ASSET InterTech is located outside of Dallas, TX, at 2201 North Central Expressway, Suite 105, Richardson, TX 75080.