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FCT toolset automates board testing process

FCT toolset automates board testing process

Asset InterTech has announced a new toolset for its ScanWorks platform for embedded instruments which enables engineers to select instruments, set parameters and insert them into an fpga to function as a circuit board tester.

Asset says that once inserted, ScanWorks FCT operates the board tester in a chip from a drag and drop user interface to perform validation, test and debug. According to Glenn Woppman, president and ceo of Asset, the toolset is the first in the industry to automatically generate, insert and operate a board tester in a chip.

"ScanWorks FCT can help at every phase in a product's lifecycle," said Woppman. "For example, the tester might assist bringing up prototypes of a new circuit board design before firmware or operating system software is available. Or, the embedded tester could be deployed in manufacturing test operations, in repair depots or for troubleshooting purposes in the field. It can be used and removed to meet any engineering need."

Al Crouch, Asset's chief technologist for core instruments, added: "Many circuit board design projects run into delays because the hardware on the board can't be validated and tested until the firmware or operating system software have been completed. ScanWorks FCT does not depend on any product software. Designers can insert a board tester, bring up and wring out first prototypes of a circuit board design and then remove the tester. If it will be needed later in the lifecycle, it can be inserted again or part of it can remain in the fpga."

ScanWorks automates practically all of the FCT process. Instruments or instrument functions are selected from a library and matched with a description of one of the supported fpga devices which is contained in another ScanWorks library. After the user sets the configuration parameters on the instruments selected, ScanWorks automatically generates all of the constructs for the embedded tester, facilitates the synthesis of the instrument code into the firmware required by the fpga and creates the software image of the tester to program the fpga. ScanWorks then inserts the tester in the fpga and provides a drag and drop user interface to operate and manage the tester.

ScanWorks FCT will be available in December 2011.

Chris Shaw

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