The PTC (parallel test and configuration) IC, a gateway device for IEEE 1149.1 testing and configuration of multiboard systems, has finally arrived. Designed for "blade" pc boards, which plug into a multislot or multicabled backplane, this Intellitech device provides the necessary infrastructure for multiboard FPGA configuration and system pc-board to pc-board interconnect testing.
The PTC IC scales to the system it's used in. It's also a necessity when testing pc-board to pc-board gigabit serializer/deserializer and low-voltage differential-signalling connections, as well as for diagnosing pin-connection problems. It can be used on blades for proprietary telecom backplanes or on standard pc-board backplanes.
"Previous addressable multidrop 1149.1 architectures lacked scalability," says Mike Ricchetti, Intellitech's CTO. "If the test for one pc board in the system took 45 seconds, then 10 similar pc boards needed 450 seconds because each had to be tested one at a time. With Intellitech's patent-pending technology, the test time for those 10 boards would be 45 seconds."
The chip supports FPGA programming up to 152 Mbytes/s. By using a 20-MHz test clock and the PTC architecture, four pc boards can be configured from a single programming resource simultaneously for an aggregate data rate of 80 Mbytes/s. With eight similar pc boards in the system, the FPGA configuration speed over the serial PTC bus is 160 Mbytes/s.
The PTC IC is available from stock in VQ100, TQ144, and 256-pin BGA packages, starting at $11 each in 10,000-unit lots. A $4500 reference design with four CompactPCI boards, a CompactPCI backplane, a power supply, and schematics and FPGA design files is also available.