SMS Electronics Adds XJTAG Boundary Scan Development System

SMS Electronics, one of the UK’s largest electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies, has bolstered its already extensive test capability with the addition of the XJTAG boundary scan development system. The XJTAG system will be implemented at the company’s production facility in Nottingham, England.

“The XJTAG system is a powerful and extremely cost-effective boundary scan solution which complements our wide range of test tools,” said Chris Hunt, sales and marketing director of SMS Electronics. “We have been placing ball grid arrays (BGAs) and other fine pitch devices for over a decade and have experience of using other boundary scan systems but XJTAG is now most definitely becoming our preferred solution. XJTAG provides the speed and accuracy of diagnosis that we need when testing complex, densely populated boards with multiple BGAs and limited test points.”

SMS Electronics is a tier two EMS company with facilities normally only found in leading tier one suppliers. With over 200 employees, 7,000 square metres of floor space and a manufacturing heritage stretching back more than 100 years, the company offers a full range of services including prototyping, design for manufacture and test, printed circuit board assembly (surface mount and through hole), extensive test capability, system assembly and product lifecycle support.

“At SMS Electronics, our philosophy is simple – if we can build a product we must have the ability to test it. Our engineers work with customers very early in the design cycle to ensure that boards are designed for test and manufacture right from the outset,” added Christopher Johns, test development manager at SMS Electronics. “With XJTAG, we have a system that can be used right from the beginning of the design process through prototyping and into production. This is very valuable and we encourage our customers to use the system as a debug and development tool and to populate their boards with JTAG components where available, as this can significantly reduce product introduction timescales and lifecycle costs.”

SMS Electronics specialises in high complexity, high mix manufacturing at low to medium volumes ­ typically in batches of 50 to 2000 boards. The company has invested in high speed and highly flexible production equipment which allows around 12 to 18 daily set-up changes, and it has the capacity to place up to 4 million components per day. Test has always been a strong area for the company and it boasts a wide range of test solutions from flying probe, automated optical inspection, in-circuit test (ICT) and functional/full system testing.

“We selected the XJTAG system due to its inherent flexibility which is important for a company with over 600 live products,” added Chris Merricks, test development engineer at SMS Electronics. “XJTAG is quick and easy to set up, the test scripts are reusable and it is highly portable due to the XJLink USB to JTAG adapter – this allows our test engineers to use the system on the shop floor, remotely or in the quieter development area. Furthermore, as product development cycles continue to shorten and board re-spins become more frequent, XJTAG will increasingly be used in place of traditional and costly in-circuit test fixtures.”

The XJTAG Development System meets the growing market need for a cost-effective solution for testing printed circuit boards populated with JTAG devices such as BGA and chip scale devices. Such devices cannot be effectively tested by traditional methods such as flying probes, logic analyzers, oscilloscopes and X-ray systems.

XJTAG is designed to cut the cost and shorten the development cycle of electronic products and provides a unique solution that can test JTAG as well as non-JTAG devices. XJTAG can test a high proportion of a circuit including BGA and chip scale devices, SDRAMs, Ethernet controllers, video interfaces, Flash memories, FPGAs, microprocessors and many other devices. XJTAG also enables In-System Programming of FPGAs, CPLDs (Complex Programmable Logic Devices) and Flash memories. Pricing for the XJTAG system ranges from £3,500 (US$6,300) to £9,000 (US$16,200).

For more information about the XJTAG Development System, please contact XJTAG, The Irwin Centre, Scotland Road, Dry Drayton, Cambridge CB3 8AR, England. Telephone +44 (0) 1954 213888, facsimile +44 (0) 1954 211565 or email info@xjtag.com.

About SMS Electronics
SMS Electronics is one of the UK’s largest electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies. With over 200 employees, 7,000 square metres of floor space and a manufacturing heritage stretching back more than 100 years, the Nottingham, England-based company offers a full range of services including prototyping, design for manufacture and test, printed circuit board assembly (surface mount and through hole), extensive test capability, system assembly and product lifecycle support. SMS Electronics serves UK-based original equipment manufacturers across a variety of market sectors including: consumer, industrial, instrumentation, leisure, medical, security and telecoms.

About XJTAG
XJTAG is a specialist design and test tool developer. Its JTAG (Joint Test Action Group) development system offers a competitive solution for designers and developers of electronic circuits. Utilising XJTAG allows the circuit development and prototyping process to be shortened significantly by facilitating early test development, early design validation, fast development of functional tests and test re-use across circuits that use the same devices. The company is based in the UK at The Irwin Centre, Dry Drayton, Cambridge. XJTAG is part of the Cambridge Technology Group.

What is JTAG?
Advances in silicon design, such as increasing device density and, more recently, ball grid array (BGA) and chip scale packaging, have reduced the efficacy of traditional electronic circuit testing methods. In order to overcome these problems and others; some of the world’s leading silicon manufacturers combined to form the Joint Test Action Group (JTAG). The findings of this group were used as the basis for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) standard 1149.1: Standard Test Access Port and Boundary Scan Architecture and subsequently the standard became known as JTAG.