FPGA-controlled test inserts automate board debugging

FPGA-controlled test inserts automate board debugging

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Asset InterTech has unveiled the ScanWorks FPGA-controlled test (FCT) toolset, enabling users of the company's ScanWorks platform to simply select instruments they need, set their parameters and insert them into a field programmable gate array (FPGA) to function as a circuit board tester. Once inserted, ScanWorks FCT operates the board-tester-in-a-chip from a drag-and-drop user interface to perform validation, test and debug.
By eeNews Europe

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ScanWorks FCT can help at every phase in a product’s lifecycle, claims Asset InterTech. For example, the tester might assist bringing up prototypes of a new circuit board design before firmware or operating system software is available. Or, the embedded tester could be deployed in manufacturing test operations, in repair depots or for troubleshooting purposes in the field. It can be used and removed to meet any engineering need. Because of significantly escalating gate densities, FPGAs are an effective platform for embedded test and measurement functionality at a time when legacy external probe-based equipment like oscilloscope and in-circuit test (ICT) systems are providing less and less test coverage. 

Faster speeds and greater complexities have increased the electrical sensitivities of chips and boards to the point where a physical probe will not provide adequate test coverage or reliable results. ScanWorks automates practically all of the FCT process. Instruments or instrument functions are selected from a library and matched with a description of one of the supported FPGA devices which is contained in another ScanWorks library. After the user sets the configuration parameters on the instruments selected, ScanWorks automatically generates all of the constructs for the embedded tester, facilitates the synthesis of the instrument code into the firmware required by the FPGA and creates the software image of the tester to program the FPGA. ScanWorks then inserts the tester in the FPGA and provides a drag-and-drop user interface to operate and manage the tester. ScanWorks serves as a unified automated environment for the entire process.

Visit Asset InterTech at www.asset-intertech.com

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