GOEPEL automates differential-clock embedded test

March 25, 2014. Concurrent with the IPC APEX EXPO, GOEPEL electronic, a vendor of IEEE 1149.x-compliant JTAG/boundary-scan solutions, announced the extension of the ChipVORX embedded test instruments for universal frequency measurement based on special FPGA soft macros.

The ChipVORX models are modular IP to control-chip embedded instruments that now allow FPGA-assisted test of differential clock signals and the measurement of frequencies directly inside the system application. This allows the user to verify the dynamics of the signals and to increase test coverage, where the workflow is fully automated by the software. As the process works without FPGA design synthesis, a dynamic adaption of the test procedure is possible without problems—for example, for operational hardware debug of diverse signal pins.

“In modern FPGA designs with Involved Gigabit Interfaces, differential clocks play a decisive role for the stability of data transmission. With the new ChipVORX models, our customers can now operate appropriate tests,” said Bettina Richter, marketing manager at GOEPEL electronic.

The ChipVORX IP for universal frequency measurement configures an appropriate instrument inside the FPGA, which is fully controllable by the user via the standard IEEE 1149.1 TAP. In addition to frequency measurement, a counter function is also available. These features allow verification of clock signals as well as detection of pulses, non-deterministic signal changes or stuck-at-0/1 errors. Whereas the control for automated production test is realized in the context of the test program, the interactive debugging can access graphic panels. Running the program is possible on any run time station without further options. Gang applications are supported as well. For automatic generation of test procedures, an integrated automatic application program generator (AAPG) built into SYSTEM CASCON is available.   

Chip embedded Instruments are permanently integrated or temporarily implemented test and measurement functions in an integrated circuit. Virtually, they are the counterpart to external T&M instruments as they don’t require invasive contact by means of probes or nails. Hence, the problem of signal distortion in high-speed designs by parasitic effects of contact is avoided. Chip embedded Instruments are part of the so called Embedded System Access (ESA) technologies that are currently the most modern strategy for validation, test and debug as well as programming of complex boards and systems. They can be utilized throughout the entire product life cycle, enabling improved test coverage at reduced costs.

ChipVORX is an IP-based technology for implementation, access and control of Chip embedded Instruments via IEEE Std. 1149.x/JTAG. It also supports FPGA embedded instruments in the form of softcores. The ChipVORX® library currently contains more than 300 different test and measurement instruments for all leading FPGA platforms. Some of these instruments are frequency meters and high-speed Flash programmers as well as IP for at-speed access test of dynamic RAM devices. The use of ChipVORX® requires neither expert background knowledge by the user nor special FPGA tools or continuous IP adjustments.

The new ChipVORX IP models are supported by default from SYSTEM CASCON™ version 4.6.3 and can be activated by the license manager just as the system software.


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