ASSET InterTech to Offer Open Tools for Embedded Instrumentation

Responding to the increasing momentum in the electronics industry toward embedded instrumentation, ASSET® InterTech, Inc. announced it is positioning the company, its products and its technologies to provide open tools for embedded instrumentation in design validation, test and debug applications. Many of the established validation and test technologies are inadequate or ineffective for high-speed chips, I/O buses and systems. Moreover, new chip geometries at 45 nanometers (nm) or smaller, as well as chip-level packaging technologies like system-in-package (SiP) are making validation, test and debug very difficult, if not impossible with traditional technologies.

Building on its long-established leadership in non-intrusive boundary-scan structural test based on the IEEE 1149.1 JTAG standard, ASSET has significantly enhanced its ScanWorks® platform over the last several years with embedded instrumentation capabilities. According to Glenn Woppman (www.asset-intertech.com/pressroom/forWorkingMedia/imageLibrary/Glenn_Woppman_color_hires.zip), president and CEO of ASSET, the company will continue to lead in JTAG structural test while developing innovative and open embedded instrumentation solutions. (www.asset-intertech.com/pressroom/whitePapers/Position_Paper_2008.pdf)

“This is a natural transition for ASSET because we’ve actually been involved with embedded test and diagnostic technologies ever since we helped develop the boundary-scan standard and the marketplace back in the mid-1990s,” Woppman said. “Now, because of advancements in chips and circuit boards, embedded instrumentation is emerging as the most viable and efficient way to perform design validation, test and debug. In general, the trajectory of the industry has been moving toward non-intrusive methodologies for more than 15 years, ever since boundary scan technology came on the scene. Embedding instrumentation is the next logical step (www.asset-intertech.com/pressroom/whitePapers/Media_Fact_Sheet_Embedded_Intrumentation_Gains_Broad_Traction.pdf) and over the last several years we have been migrating ScanWorks into a role as an open platform for embedded instrumentation, including boundary scan, CPU-emulation functional test, Intel® IBIST and others.”

ASSET has been developing and bringing to market tools (www.asset-intertech.com/news_article.html?newsID=106) to automate, access and analyze embedded instrumentation for several years (www.asset-intertech.com/news_article.html?newsID=79).

Next-generation instruments
Embedded instrumentation is a natural extension of trends that have been taking place in the test and measurement marketplace for two decades. Since its very beginning, the electronics industry has used standalone, external instruments like oscilloscopes and logic analyzers to validate and test chips, circuit boards and systems. Invariably, these devices relied upon physical probes to determine what was happening electrically on chips and boards. During the 1980s, virtual instrumentation was introduced. This concept leveraged the PC as the computing platform and featured internal software drivers with virtual front panels that controlled external instruments for test and measurement purposes. Unfortunately, physically probing, which instruments depend upon for access, has become difficult or ineffective in many instances.

Now, chip manufacturers are responding with embedded instrumentation (www.asset-intertech.com/pressroom/whitePapers/Media_Fact_Sheet_Embedded_Intrumentation_Variation.pdf) to meet their own needs. These same embedded instruments can be re-used by system designers, validation engineers and test engineers, who require a more effective and agile way to validate designs, and test and debug circuit boards and systems. In a non-intrusive way through an open external platform, ASSET’s ScanWorks automates, accesses and analyzes the instruments that have been embedded into chips.

Coincident with its product and technology re-positioning, ASSET also unveiled a new corporate logo. The new ASSET logo represents the company’s efforts to drive embedded instrumentation on circuit boards, into advanced packages like SiPs and in chips. By doing so, ASSET “brings many diverse pieces together” for its customers.

ScanWorks® – The Embedded Instrumentation Platform
ASSET, through its ScanWorks platform, is applying its more than two decades of experience as a leading tools supplier for the boundary-scan (IEEE 1149.1 JTAG) market to developing open embedded instrumentation tools. Boundary scan, as a test technology that is embedded into chips and circuit boards, is one of several technologies that can form the basis for an embedded instrumentation toolset.

About ASSET InterTech
ASSET provides open embedded instrumentation tools to the electronics industry for design validation, test and debug. ScanWorks, the embedded instrumentation platform, automates, accesses and analyzes embedded instrumentation, allowing users to quickly and easily validate and test semiconductors, circuit boards or entire systems during every phase of a product’s life. ASSET’s MicroMaster product line employs CPU emulation technology to perform extensive functional test and diagnostic routines on circuit boards and chips, and to program logic and memory devices in-system at high CPU speeds. ASSET InterTech is located outside of Dallas, TX, at 2201 North Central Expressway, Suite 105, Richardson, TX 75080. For product information, call toll free 888-694-6250, send faxes to 972-437-2826, direct e-mail to ai-info@asset-intertech.com.