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National Semiconductor Introduces Industry’s First System Test Access Evaluation Kit for Multi-card Backplane Environments

Innovative Kit Cuts Costs and Accelerates Time-to-Market by Enabling Faster Simulation and Evaluation for Many Types of Telecom, Datacom, Medical, and Military/Aerospace Systems

Jul 21, 2003

July 21, 2003 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today announced the System Test Access (STA) evaluation kit, the industry’s first evaluation kit to provide IEEE 1149.1 support for multi-card backplane environments.

National’s new STA evaluation kit is based upon the IEEE 1149.1 standard, the industry’s most widely used testing method for structural test access. The kit is a customizable system that allows designers to analyze, assess and generate both simple and complex test architectures without the need to create dedicated hardware.  The evaluation kit’s capabilities to test, simulate and evaluate make it a time-saving and cost-effective solution for the development of next-generation systems.

“Designers of today’s highly integrated systems already face significant technical challenges.  Adding a test and programming architecture to the system increases the complexity,” said Brian Stearns, Marketing Manager of National Semiconductor’s Enhanced Solutions group.  “With this unique evaluation kit, designers can quickly and easily test and simulate multi-card backplane test bus configurations optimized for their respective needs without the cost and time penalties of developing custom hardware.”

National is the leading supplier of products with new features based on the IEEE 1149.1 standard. The company offers eight new Bus LVDS Serializer and Deserializer products, nine new TTL bus transceivers, and three new IEEE 1149.1 system test bus support devices.
National’s new STA evaluation kit demonstrates the basic capabilities of these products, but is also expandable so the designer can use it to evaluate other IEEE 1149.1-enabled technologies and products, such as FPGA or CPLD’s with IEEE 1149.1 configuration access.

Key Features and Benefits
The STA evaluation kit supports the IEEE 1149.1 standard, and is a scaled-down representation of a typical multi-drop system.  Composed of a backplane with three slots and several daughtercards, the kit features National’s STA111, which extends the IEEE 1149.1 standard to the system level.  This means that single or multiple card testing is possible.  In-system FPGA configuration and Flash programming can also be evaluated through the IEEE 1149.1 evaluation kit bus by adding custom daughtercards with FPGA’s, Flash memories, or other devices from complementary vendors.

Each kit contains:

  • One Backplane
  • Two SCANSTA111 Multi-drop Daughtercard(s)
  • Two SerDes Daughtercards
  • One Pass Through Card
  • One Universal Power Supply
  • Two CAT5 Patch Cords
  • End User License agreement
  • Registration Instructions for file downloads and future support    

The kit allows simulations of various implementations of test architectures.  Intended to be generic and compatible with Industry standards and third party software and hardware, the STA evaluation kit’s modular design affords the user simple demonstrations, yet is expandable as a development kit so complex systems and new products may also be evaluated, eliminating the need for dedicated hardware.   Pre-generated SVF (Serial Vector Format) files are included in the kit for three example configurations; however, netlists and schematics are also provided if the user would prefer to generate test vector files for their own hardware.

The STA evaluation kit includes LVDS SerDes daughter cards to demonstrate how National’s LVDS SerDes at-speed BIST (Built-In-Self-Test) operates.  The kit also supports both the IEEE 1149.4 (analog busses are provided) and the IEEE 1532 standard for in-system programming.

Pricing and Availability
National’s STA evaluation kit is currently available for $1500 each.  For more information on the kit, visit National’s website at www.national.com/appinfo/scan/evk_description.html, or contact National’s design support group at 1 (800) 272-9959.  Demonstration boards and samples are available from National, subject to availability.  A high resolution, downloadable photo is available at http://www.national.com/company/pressroom/gallery/es.html.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on analog-based semiconductor products, which include stand-alone devices and subsystems in the areas of power management, imaging, display drivers, audio, amplifiers and data conversion. The company targets key markets such as wireless, displays, PCs, networks and a broad range of portable applications. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.67 billion for its most recent fiscal year. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com.