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Agilent gets serious about JTAG test

Jun 29, 2010

Agilent Technologies’ interest in boundary scan test support grows with its second JTAG test systems move in a month.

Just weeks after Agilent introduced its first JTAG protocol decode and triggering application for its Infiniium oscilloscopes, it has teamed with Goepel electronic to offer a boundary scan support on its in-circuit test system.

This interest in the production test environment largely developed by specialist suppliers, such as JTAG Technologies, Goepel and UK-based XJTAG, comes from its increased popularity due to falling costs.

The JTAG/boundary-scan test and programming tools have traditionally been seen as costly and complex to implement. As a result, much of their use to date has been limited to the testing or programming of boards on the production line.

This is an outdated view and is at odds with what test system suppliers are offering in the JTAG/boundary scan market.

The cost of implementing boundary scan is falling.

So Agilent is offering the JTAG plug-on module for its utility card option on the i3070 Series 5 in-circuit tester.

The UCM3070 module can be fitted on the card, which communicates with the host system via USB.

The Agilent-validated plug-on card supports boundary scan test with two test access ports (TAPs 1.8V to 4.5V), eight parallel interface ports (PIPs) for faster flash programming and optional analogue channels.

The self test of the device rounds off the hardware package.

It supports a test clock of up to 16MHz.

JTAG, an industry standard also known as IEEE 1149.1, is commonly used in the testing of many PCBs and ICs particularly in manufacturing tests.

It is also now being used in the design environment as the complexity and pin-out of ICs increases.

In using boundary can test techniques, engineers typically take physical-level measurements and manually decode the JTAG signals, which can add time to the test process.

According to Agilent, its JTAG application for the Infiniium scopes, called N8817A, will enable the scope to perform decode in real time.

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