This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.

Adaptive Test System to Improve PCB Testing in the Automotive Industry

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-4614, e-ISSN: 1946-4622
Published April 08, 2013 by SAE International in United States
Adaptive Test System to Improve PCB Testing in the Automotive Industry
Citation: Ostendorff, S., Sachsse, J., Wuttke, H., and Meza Escobar, J., "Adaptive Test System to Improve PCB Testing in the Automotive Industry," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Electron. Electr. Syst. 6(1):294-300, 2013,
Language: English


This paper presents an adaptive test approach to improve the structural testing of printed circuit boards (PCB) found in electronic automotive components. The approach makes use of FPGAs available on the PCBs, and its applicability is supported by the global trend taking place in the automotive industry of replacing ASICs with programmable devices such as FPGAs.
For structural testing of PCBs, Boundary Scan (BScan) is mostly used. However, BScan has the disadvantage of being a static test method due to the slow execution speed reducing the fault coverage concerning dynamic faults.
FPGAs support BScan as well, but they also offer a vast number of programmable resources. These resources can be configured for testing purposes.
Our approach is to speed-up the testing process during the PCB manufacturing by moving data intensive processing from the external software side (Test-PC) to the programmable hardware side on-board (FPGA), reducing the data transfer over the slow JTAG interface. The resources of the FPGA are used to implement a complete FPGA based test system capable of generating, applying, and analyzing test patterns at high speeds.
In this way, we reduce execution time and increase the fault coverage for high speed circuits such as high speed interfaces and memories.