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
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
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
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...
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
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
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
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.
technicians to troubleshoot complex boards without
Field Test and Repair
Field-updating of Flash and
CPLD devices in-system is easy with Boundary-scan.
interconnect test and fault location in the field, with low
cost tools. Faults are typically isolated down to the faulty
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
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
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
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
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more
Did you know?