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Stretch Limited Test Budgets Further with

Design and Test engineers are often asked to do the impossible. With ever-increasing levels of product complexity, high product quality is essential; yet engineers are expected to meet unyielding product design and production test schedules with tight test budgets. And with shorter and shorter product life cycles, this all comes down to a single word: Stressful.

As the preferred vendor of JTAG/Boundary-scan tools, Corelis typically markets its technical products pointing out technical features, advantages and benefits to a critical audience. When budgets are tight, however, we always point out the financial wisdom of spending limited funds so design and test engineers can get the help they need to succeed when they are being pushed to their limits.

Corelis faces the same market conditions you do, but just as we never compromise our products and services, we don't expect our clients to incur risk by spending their limited budgets without good cause. In other words, we clearly respect your need to have solid economic reasons to acquire our products when test budgets are limited or, in some cases, non-existent.

Boundary-scan, while highly effective as a test method, it is not necessarily a universal solution for all test requirements. It is another “weapon” in your arsenal which, in many cases, can be used alone or in conjunction with other testers such as In-Circuit Testers (ICT’s), Manufacturing Defect Analyzers (MDAs), functional test systems, flying probes, optical inspection, X-ray, etc.

The bottom line is that whether used alone or in conjunction with other test methods, boundary-scan will always save you both money and time, and yet it represents a minimal capital equipment expense.

Most important of all, it will help to ensure your product’s quality and speed time-to-market. In the age of the internet, what company would expect to launch a successful product and not pay attention to quality or fail to hit the market window at the most opportune time?

Here is a list of points that we have collected from our clients which justify the use of Corelis Scan-Express boundary-scan tools during the challenging times of limited test budgets:

For the Design Engineer

  • The implementation of Boundary-scan for product test purposes results in lower capital equipment cost and a higher return on investment (ROI), than any other test method. A full Boundary-scan development and test system is comparably priced to a good logic analyzer and does not require special fixtures. Its applicability over many board and system designs makes it a sensible acquisition.

  • Boundary-scan allows simple, convenient keyboard access to board designs containing BGA and fine-pitch device test points, simplifying prototype test point access during design debug and validation.

  • Boundary-scan provides a means to quickly test complete prototype connection integrity, saving tedious manual probing. Provides the software integration engineer with assurance that problematic software issues are not caused by hardware faults.

  • Boundary-scan can be used to program memory devices in-system, without special hardware or pre-programmed parts inventory. Program devices such as Flash memories, serial EEPROMs, CPLDs, FPGAs, etc...

  • Boundary-scan eliminates re-spins due to Design For Test, (DFT) issues. Testability may be determined immediately after schematic capture. Full DFT reports available on pin and net basis.

  • DFT rules are simple and easy to implement. Product testability is not compromised by loss of physical access due to BGAs, fine-pitch components or multilayer boards.

  • JTAG Embedded Test adds functional test capability to Boundary-scan by running processor-based tests at speed. JET tests can be applied at times when the board is not fully functional or even fully bootable to assist with board bring-up and debug.

  • The broad implementation of Boundary-scan compliance by most IC manufacturers simplifies device selection based on function, cost and contribution to product testability.

For the Test Engineer

  • The use of Boundary-scan always results in lower capital equipment cost and high ROI. A full Boundary-scan development and test system is comparably priced to a good logic analyzer and does not require special costly fixtures. Its applicability over many board and system designs makes it a sensible acquisition.

  • When Boundary-scan is used for prototype test, the test procedure is typically ready the same day the product goes to production. No test development delays to hold up the introduction of product to market. And often Boundary-scan can eliminate the need for expensive and tedious test fixture procurement and debug.

  • Boundary-scan board test development is comparatively fast and it is easier with respect to all other test methods. Automated test development speeds the process.

  • Expensive, troublesome test fixtures for fine pitch components are often eliminated or substantially reduced by testing and programming digital parts with Boundary-scan.

  • Boundary-scan is easily integrated with other test methods, ICT’s, flying-probes, optical, etc., to maximize test coverage and improve product quality.

  • Boundary-scan tests can be used at bench top station or integrated with other test systems (or both), depending on the customer economic needs.

  • Fast board test and easy fault locating is a major feature of Boundary-scan. Electrical test finds cold solder joints X-ray misses. A medium size board is typically tested in several seconds.

  • Boundary-scan allows GANG board test and in-system programming capability for high throughput with reduced labor and capital equipment cost.

  • Boundary-scan allows easy test and programming of soldered devices on the PCBs.

  • JTAG Embedded Test adds functional test capability to Boundary-scan running processor-based tests at speed.

  • Boundary-scan tests are highly reliable and highly repeatable. A Boundary-scan test procedure usually includes test, device programming, device configuration, JTAG Embedded test, system test, etc., at one test station and within seconds! No handling time of cumbersome bed-of-nail fixtures or board damage due to moving product from station to station. When combined with ICT or Flying probe, even more benefits can be realized.

  • Boundary-scan allows technicians to troubleshoot complex boards without engineering participation.

Field Test and Repair

  • Field-updating of Flash and CPLD devices in-system is easy with Boundary-scan.

  • Boundary-scan allows interconnect test and fault location in the field, with low cost tools. Faults are typically isolated down to the faulty pin!

  • Boundary-scan provides the ability to determine faults utilizing the same tools as design and production test for ease of reporting and repair.

  • The immediate visual identification of faulty nets / components by Boundary-scan reduces product repair/downtime and lowers the costs associated with repair work.

  • Boundary-scan may eliminate or reduce cost of shipping faulty boards back to a production test facility.

  • Remote test access by LAN or WAN, is easily supported with Boundary-scan.

For the Product

  • Boundary-scan improves product quality by making reliable electrical tests economically feasible, even for low-cost, consumer products.

  • Boundary-scan gets products to market faster by reducing development and test time.

  • Boundary-scan enables reduced product size by eliminating test point “real estate” required by other less capable methods.

  • Boundary-scan can assist with improving or increasing product functionality.

  • Boundary-scan contributes to improved product performance.

  • Boundary-scan supports the product through its entire lifecycle from design through to maintenance and field service.

  • Moving product to different manufacturing sites is cost-effective and non-restrictive because tester-specific fixtures are not required.

Economics of Common PCB Test Methods

The chart below outlines typical costs associated with various test methods. Obviously the costs will vary according to factors such as the size, complexity and device type/count of target board tested. The intent of providing this information is for test method comparison purposes.

In the chart section below “Faults found”, presence refers only to whether or not a part is placed correctly. In this case, no parametric or functional tests are made. Limited means that some faults or measurements in the fault category listed may not be found or performed. This is because the test system is unable to access some test points or does not have the technical means to determine a particular fault.

Note that various test methods may be combined to provide the highest product quality and throughput, at the lowest test cost. As optimum test strategies are application-specific, contact Corelis sales for detailed solutions according to your specific requirements. Corelis is your test strategy resource.

*Note: System costs listed above are average costs of top-tier products in the tester category and are provided for comparison purposes only.

The Bottom Line

  • Time-to-market is a main factor in success of a product. Even the best product, if released late, can fail in today’s dynamic, highly selective markets. Corelis ScanExpress Boundary-scan tools give your company the competitive edge you need to get a quality product to market first.

  • Purchasing Corelis ScanExpress tools may not require a special budget due to significantly reduced acquisition and implementation costs across all departments, as listed above. It may just be a question of allocation of funds from other more costly equipment and labor-intensive methods. We can help you optimize your test flow for maximum benefit at minimal cost.

  • Acquiring Corelis tools puts you in partnership with a company dedicated to your success with Boundary-Scan/JTAG. The substantial experience, preferred product and acclaimed technical support that Corelis provides to your company, assures that your experience will be first-rate. Should you want assurance from the experiences of others, we can provide references from many satisfied Corelis clients worldwide to aid your decision.

Contact for more information.



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