Boundary scan technology specialist XJTAG has announced the DFT Assistant for Altium Designer, a free software extension said to increase the design for test (DFT) capabilities of the PCB design system.

“DFT Assistant provides engineers with a free, easy to use extension to check if boundary scan chains are connected and terminated correctly at the schematic capture stage, long before the PCB is produced. By detecting and correcting faults earlier, companies save time and money,” said XJTAG’s CEO Simon Payne. “While the first prototype is being manufactured, DFT Assistant allows a preliminary project to be exported from Altium Designer to the XJTAG development software, where additional tests can be developed. These can then be used to test real hardware as soon as it’s available.”

According to the company, DFT Assistant comprises two key elements –the Chain Checker and the Access Viewer.

Chain Checker identifies common errors in a JTAG scan chain, such as incorrectly connected Test Access Ports, while Access Viewer overlays the extent of boundary scan access onto the schematic diagram, allowing users to see which components are accessible using boundary scan and where test coverage could be further extended.

Daniel Fernsebner, Altium’s corporate director for technology partnerships and business development, noted: “We are delighted that XJTAG is introducing this extension, which we believe our customers will find beneficial in their product development.”