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NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR BRINGS MARKET CLOSER TO COMPLETE, ON-BOARD TEST CAPABILITY WITH NEW EMBEDDED SOFTWARE PACKAGE

Oct 25, 1995

SANTA CLARA, CA., October 25, 1995 -- National Semiconductor today announced the first open test management software package named National SCAN Embedded Application Software Enabler (SCAN EASE), which reduces embedded systems designers' test development effort. This general-purpose embedded software package is seen as a crucial step in realizing the market's vision of complete on-board test capability.

SCAN EASE applies, controls and evaluates tests within an IEEE Standard 1149.1- compliant embedded system. This eliminates the need for embedded system designers to create proprietary embedded test software because SCAN EASE is processor- and memory-independent.

The Standard, 1149.1, has become a common approach for improved board-level testability. This has led to the development of a variety of compliant components such as microprocessors, ASICs, FPGAs and logic devices. By adding devices to address multiple boards (such as the National SCANPSC110F Bridge) and provide the JTAG interface for the processor (SCANPSC100F Embedded Boundary Scan Controller), designers now have test access to whole systems. However, the task of creating software to make it all work together is daunting.

SCAN EASE is compatible with Teradyne's VictoryTM ATPG and JTAG Technologies' BTPGTM tools, offering direct acceptance of output vectors. This saves development costs and time, by letting designers reuse existing board test vectors.

SCAN EASE's suite of software tools also enables ATPG or custom-generated test vectors to be embedded within a system. These tools are:

  • EmbedPrep (Embedded Test Preparation). This tool compiles ATPG test vectors stored in Serial Vector Format (SVF) or Pattern Format (PAT) into Embedded Vector Format (EVF) which is used in EmbedTest. EVF is a compact binary vector format suitable for embedded applications.

  • EmbedTest (Embedded Test). This controls the test flow and communications between the embedded system and remote system test administrator. The board-level EVF files can be concatenated to create a system-level test. Partitioning tests allows the EmbedTest to isolate and report pass/fail information to the partitioned level without running diagnostic software. EmbedTest can run on any microprocessor supporting ANSI C.

  • EmbedComm (Embedded Test Communication). This tool provides a WindowsTM GUI for systems administration and remote access to EmbedTest running on an embedded system. The systems administrator is able to report test results, download new tests and upload datalogs all over the EmbedComm interface. This allows for faster field service and better uptime for the customer.

SCAN EASE complements National's Embedded Boundary Scan Controller, SCANPSC100F, which offers an interface between the microprocessor bus and a 1149.1 test bus. Together they provide maximum user flexibility. The SCANPSC100F can be either I/O-mapped or memory-mapped; the same code and test vectors will run on various machines simply by recompiling with the C-compiler for the target machine.

"National has already provided software as an embedded feature of many of its semiconductor products over the years," said Gary O'Donnell, strategic marketing at National Semiconductor. "With SCAN EASE, we saw the market's need for a standalone software package that would allow customers to take advantage of the investment they have already made in moving to on-board test."

Victory is a trademark of Teradyne Corporation.
BTPG is a trademark of JTAG Technologies.
Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States of America and other countries.