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Low Cost Partnership Case History: Boundary Scan and Analyst In Circuit Test

A major contract manufacturer sought a way to implement boundary scan for a new board it was building but saw no point in purchasing an expensive traditional in-circuit tester such as those from Teradyne or Agilent just to obtain boundary scan capability.  CheckSum provided a low-cost boundary scan test solution for under $70,000, including the cost of the Analyst ems in-circuit tester and boundary scan tools from a popular boundary scan technology supplier.

The circuit board was approximately 5 inches by 11 inches (12.7 x 17.8 cm) with 1,200 electrical nets, of which only 810 could be physically probed and tested using conventional ICT techniques.   As is typical with modern devices, speed and functional complexity precluded using traditional vector-based ‘backdrive’ testing.

By adding boundary scan test, the contract manufacturer upped the total to 1,050 tested nets, boosting fault coverage from 68% to 88%--a 30% increase. In addition, the board included 40 ICs, the largest being an 860-pin ASIC. All of them were testable with boundary scan.

Fault Coverage Graph

One-time charges were approximately $55,000 for the Analyst tester and $15,000 for the third-party hardware and software. Recurring costs of test for similar boards requiring boundary scan test would be only about $12,000 for the bed-of-nails test fixture in-circuit program and boundary scan test.

Boundary Scan Can Reduce Board Test Costs

A major goal of boundary scan test is to reduce test cost while maximizing test coverage.  This contract manufacturer understood that implementing boundary scan on a traditional ICT contradicted the cost and simplicity goal of boundary scan. The CheckSum Analyst low cost in-circuit tester, on the other hand, is consistent with those objectives.
Boundary Scan Technology Overview

Boundary Scan Partners