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I have to choose a tool for production testing of fairly dense PCB's with 4+ FPGAs 10+ DSPs, ethernet controllers and PCI controllers.. Does anyone have any experience with any of the tools available from GOEPEL, XJTAG, Jtag-technologies or if anyone know of any good open source alternatives? That is both the BS hardware controller and/or software..

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OpenOCD is an open source JTAG debugger, it supports a good range of adapters both open source and proprietary.

It's worth looking into. But, I have only used it for simple boards with single microcontrollers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I will try that. Looks like the "boundary scan" feature is a fairly new feature in OpenOCD, but worth looking into. Says that it will work with the USB-Blaster as well.. thanks! btw, I signed up for XJTAGS 30 day evaluation (with a controller and everything), the package is on its way now.. \$\endgroup\$ – Keh0082 Jun 22 '10 at 8:11
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I work for GOEPEL in the UK, we offer a free trial as well. We normally accompany this with a board setup, so you can get a better feel for what the tools can do. Whereabouts are you based, I can get our local office to get in touch or just register on our website. No real open source alternatives, what you are paying for is automated test generation. The low cost end of the market can normally get you in toggling pins, programming files etc, but if you are looking at production test you need safe quality tests that are going to find your build defects. Depending on your test coverage, you need to consider if Boundary scan alone will cover this or does it need other test strategies or functional test. Be careful on how test coverage is reported, if you start hearing 90-100% quoted then dig deeper into the figures. If it is not too late, check out our design guidelines.

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I can recommend the GOEPEL tools for their extensive set of features and capabilities. Test development is highly automated yet allows me to set constraints easily. The software also comes with great JTAG debug tools. Once you know what you want to do with the tools they can configure a software and hardware configuration that is very price competitive and provides an upgrade path that allows you to add capabilities in the future, if you need to.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible to evaluate the tools in any way without buying it? \$\endgroup\$ – Keh0082 Jun 22 '10 at 8:12
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If you want to exercise processor / DSP interfaces at speed for advanced debugging, I have used the following tools successfully as they can operate in background debug mode, depending on the specific tool:

Asset Intertech

Corelis

JTAG Technologies

All of the tools (amongst others, no doubt) can be used for both initial commissioning and debug as well as production test, so they are multi-purpose. I like the new tools from JTAG technologies as they have analogue ports available on some controllers which comes in very handy when the board has DACs and ADCs.

All of them support in-system programming and can also support JTAG gateways

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I did some benchmarks of three tools (Goepel, Corelis, XJTAG) about 3 years ago with a custom board (FPGA, OMAP, various small ICs). We found that the XJTAG tools were by far superior to the Goepel or Corelis tools in terms of usability. I can also highly recommend their support. All three vendors were happy to provide the tools for this benchmark. I recommend doing the benchmark with your own board. It will be harder but you will see real-world problems and how they are handled.

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You also can try JTAG Technologies, Corelis or FLYNN onTAP tools. I'm working with all of these and the JT looks the best today. But all up to you and to prices. Please read about JTAG Manager tools.

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