ScanWorks Ethernet Controller Tests Four Circuit Boards at Once

November 1, 2011. The new Remote Instrumentation Controller 4000 (RIC-4000) for ASSET’s ScanWorks® platform for embedded instruments can connect over an Ethernet network and apply boundary scan (JTAG) tests on as many as four circuit boards at once. The units under test (UUT) and ScanWorks could be in the same room on the same local network or they might be across the globe, connected over the Internet.

The RIC-4000 controller for ScanWorks features four Test Access Ports (TAPs) that conform to the IEEE 1149.1 (JTAG) boundary scan test standard. The RIC-4000’s TAPs connect the UUTs to the PC-based ScanWorks, which applies test routines without physically probing the boards. ScanWorks is often deployed throughout a product’s life cycle, beginning in design for board bring-up, subsequently in manufacturing and assembly for test purposes, and lastly in field service to perform troubleshooting.

“Because ScanWorks is software, it does not require placing a physical probe on a UUT. This means that it avoids many of the problems that probe-based testers like in-circuit test (ICT) systems are running into,” said Kent Zetterberg, ASSET’s boundary scan product manager. “The RIC-4000 four-TAP controller is small and very portable, and each one has its own IP address. So, the controller might be in one location where it is connected to multiple UUTs, while ScanWorks and the test engineer are across the globe testing and debugging the UUTs over the Internet. This gives the manufacturer a great deal of flexibility. It can target its test and human resources anywhere in the world.”

Many of the parameters on the RIC-4000’s four TAPs can be individually configured. As a result, the UUTs attached to a RIC-4000 need not be identical. In addition to thoroughly testing each UUT for faults and failures, ScanWorks includes diagnostic and debugging tools that isolate faults and help determine their root causes. Test routines can be processed step-by-step in real time to locate faults on device pins or chip interconnects. Moreover, the RIC-4000 can be used to load programs or data into programmable devices like flash memory that have already been soldered to a circuit board.

Pricing starts at $8,495.

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