JTAG Mixed-signal IO Systems (MIOS) Redefine Benchtop ATE : Page 2 of 2

March 31, 2016 //By Peter van den Eijnden
JTAG Mixed-signal IO Systems (MIOS) Redefine Benchtop ATE
Most digital electronics designs now feature some form of JTAG/boundary-scan to aid structural board testing or in-system device programming.

However there remains the matter of software to program and control this novel ATE architecture. Fortunately in this area too there are a number of available options to suit all budgets.  Thus to develop and execute  high-integrity JTAG tests using the MIOS hardware (e.g. scan path infrastructure, interconnections, logic clusters &  memory clusters), ISP (In-System Programming), ADC/DAC, PSU and clock tests you can choose from:


  • Python scripting language - a favourite among engineers and scientists that comes with a host of open-source libraries to control instruments (e.g. GPIB, USB), serial ports, JTAG controllers and more. Its flexibility allows easy construction of loops branches variable handling and file IO. You may have  to undertake more coding than some other methods, however dozens of test modules already exist for devices and logic clusters accessed by JTAG/boundary-scan and there is even a VISA control library in existence.


  • LabVIEW - for scientists with a preference for graphical icon-based programming National Instruments LabVIEW has become a staple of the test world especially within functional mixed-signal testers. Control icons (VIs) exist for prepared test execution and also low-level control of JTAG device pins.


  • JTAG ProVision - for those with no desire to undertake coding (graphical or textual), then a high-level auto-generation system like JTAG ProVision simply ‘sucks in’ CAD data and device models from a supplied library featuring 10 000s or parts and exports a complete test program set. You can still augment these tests with scripted applications to get the ultimate in flexibility and fault coverage.


Furthermore there are also .NET, TestStand and ATEasy support, and other options depending on the current method of working or individual preferences.

For hardware interfacing (fixtures) the open architecture of the JTAG MIOS testers allow it to be added to almost any popular cassette based fixture. To date there have been successful applications created with ATX, DD Mechatronics, Ingun and MG hardware but it’s straightforward to marry this potent test capability with any local or international fixture supplier.

About the author:

Peter van den Eijnden is Managing Director of JTAG Technologies - www.jtag.com


Related articles:

Using JTAG without a netlist

JTAG/Boundary-scan - the development of standards

Automated JTAG/boundary-scan test and debug tools

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