JTAG CoreCommander checks-out FPGA Zone Embedded JTAG translator allows PCB testing using IP Cores Eindhoven, The Netherlands, March 2013

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 16 August 2013



(2013), "JTAG CoreCommander checks-out FPGA Zone Embedded JTAG translator allows PCB testing using IP Cores Eindhoven, The Netherlands, March 2013", Circuit World, Vol. 39 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/cw.2013.21739cad.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

JTAG CoreCommander checks-out FPGA Zone Embedded JTAG translator allows PCB testing using IP Cores Eindhoven, The Netherlands, March 2013

Article Type: New products From: Circuit World, Volume 39, Issue 3

CoreCommander for FPGAs, from JTAG Technologies, offers a generic solution based on VHDL code that allows engineers to bridge from the standard JTAG test and programming port (TAP) to proprietary IP cores (e.g. DDR controllers, E-net MAC, USB controllers, etc.) and harness them for test purposes. Forming part of its exciting range of Embedded Test and Programming (ETP) products, CoreCommander FPGA is aimed primarily at hardware design and test engineers.

The base of CoreCommander for FPGAs uses a translator block to access proprietary IP cores through commonly implemented bus structures such as “Wishbone”, AMBA, Avalon and CoreConnect. This translator block, provided as a VHDL module, can be either permanently or temporarily programmed into a gate-array. Linker software provided with the module automatically links the translator block with IP blocks to build the complete (test) design to be programmed in the FPGA.

Use of CoreCommander functions can be either interactive or “automatic” – via library routines in a scripting environment. The interactive mode is intended for use by design engineers to interrogate and control the IP blocks in their FPGA during debug. The automatic mode however is more likely to find favour during (at-speed) logic cluster testing in manufacturing.

Together with interconnect testing, logic device “cluster” testing has been one of the mainstays of JTAG/boundary-scan board testing since its inception over 20 years ago. However, in recent years the capacity of the simple (low-speed) boundary-scan register (BSR) to cope with sophisticated command and control requirements of parts like DDR memory has diminished to the point that tests can be compromised. By harnessing the “horsepower” built into devices like microprocessors and now FPGAs, JTAG testing is again re-energised allowing the connections to timing sensitive devices to once again be fully tested and at functional speeds.

MD for JTAG Technologies, Peter van den Eijnden, states: “We wanted to implement faster testing of peripherals using our standard JTAG hardware and software tools but without reinventing the wheels for peripheral interface blocks. Since CoreCommander FPGA can link with so much standard IP, it massively simplifies the operation and at the same time brings the cost to a much more attainable level when compared to other FPGA-powered concepts.”

About JTAG technologies

JTAG Technologies is a market leader and technology innovator of boundary-scan software and hardware products and services. The company was the first to bring to the market such important advances as automated test generation, automated fault coverage analysis, automated flash and PLD programming via boundary-scan, and visualized boundary-scan analysis. Its customers include world leaders in electronics design and manufacturing such as Ericsson, Flextronics, Honeywell, Medtronic, Motorola, Nokia, Philips, Raytheon, Rockwell-Collins, Samsung, and Sony. Its innovative boundary-scan products provide test preparation, test execution, test result analysis and in-system programming applications. With an installed base of over 6,500 systems worldwide, JTAG Technologies serves the communications, medical electronics, avionics, defence, automotive, and consumer industries with offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. JTAG Technologies headquarters are located in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

JTAG and JTAG Technologies are registered trademarks of JTAG Technologies, Inc. All other brand names or product names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holder(s).

For more information please visit: www.jtag.com

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