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Making Boundary-Scan more comfortable

Thu, 03/10/2011 - 1:21pm
ECN Europe

Embedded World 2011 – JTAG Technologies has updated its ProVision suite of boundary-scan development tools with the addition of 11 enhancements. When JTAG Technologies launched ProVision in 2006 it changed the way users work with boundary-scan. There have been a number of updates/enhancements since the launch, but JTAG Technologies is hitting 2011 hard with almost a dozen performance-boosting and time-saving additions. The first of these is the addition of all instructions handling (including private instructions) within ProVision’s JTAG Functional Test (JFT) capability, now giving users easier access to device registers [other than just those needed for IEEE Std. 1149.1boundary-scan operations]. For example, registers needed to invoke on-chip emulation modes and programming registers can now be accessed using JFT’s Python routines.

The second enhancement is the addition of ‘netlist type autodetect’, which automatically recognises netlist formats as belonging to certain tool vendors. This can save considerable time when importing netlists from third parties. Thirdly, the WGL test vector format (as used for IC testing) is now supported through a ProVision plug-in. The fourth enhancement is the ability to test (IEEE) 1149 dot 6 to dot 1 connections; an industry first in terms of cross-standard testing within a single tool.

The remaining seven enhancements are: 5) support for FTDI USB to serial port peripheral devices (embedded on target board); 6) HTML reporting for TTR and BSD in AEX sequences; 7) the ability to export and re-import AEX sequences; 8) support for double-latching bus logic; 9) boundary-scan register length check; 10) support for multiple ID codes in BSDL; and 11) 64-bit drivers for DataBlaster hardware.

All these enhancements to ProVision are all available on CD17, which also contains the recently announced ProVision Designer Station (PV_DST); support for additional microprocessors with embedded flash and a new Production Integration Package (PIP) for supporting .NET (for interfacing with Microsoft applications) has been added to the range of existing PIP packages. Customers with current support licences for ProVision and PV_DST will receive CD17 as a matter of course.

New Hardware: JTAG Live USB Controller

After launching the highly acclaimed JTAG Live boundary-scan utility tools, the company has further bolstered the hardware interface support now by introducing the JTAG Live USB Controller; a single TAP, IEEE Std. 1149.1 boundary-scan controller.

Picture: JTAG

While JTAG Live already supports the use of the JTAG ‘cables’ from Xilinx and Altera, as well as JTAG Technologies’ own established range of IEEE 1149.x controllers, increasingly JTAG Live users have been requesting a dedicated, low-cost, connection system that works ‘out of the box’ with the JTAG Live suite. While most users have been quite happy to use the built-in support options for Altera and Xilinx hardware, some users found it inconvenient to download and install the PLD support/driver software. By offering an affordable interface cable that customers can use with confidence, JTAG Technologies believes boundary-scan usage will spread even further and faster.

The JTAG Live USB Controller is PC-powered and features a single test access port in JTAG Technologies’ standard pin-out. It offers a maximum programmable TCK speed of 6 MHz and also features programmable output voltages and input thresholds. The controller has been designed for use exclusively with the JTAG Live suite of software tools (Buzz, Clip and Script). JTAG Live is since the successful launch last year the breakthrough product for design engineers to debug boards too crowded for traditional probing. JTAG Live enables you to sense signal levels on prototype PCBs, verify proper continuity between pins or groups of pins, and check basic operation. JTAG Live is for electronics engineers and technicians to use in checking PCBs for basic continuity and correct operation. The family consists of three products, Buzz, Clip, and Script.

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