Engineers Cut Circuit Debug and Test Times with XJTAG Chain Debugger

11/22/2005 - XJTAG, a leading supplier of boundary scan development tools, has added a JTAG chain debugger to its XJTAG Development System, which will further reduce debug and test times for engineers designing and testing complex printed circuit boards.

The JTAG chain debugger features a range of debug options which allow designers to trace signals around the board and immediately find the location of any problems within the JTAG chain. This capability means that engineers can get boards up and running quickly, rapidly diagnose faults and speed up the whole development process.

"With the addition of the chain debugger to the XJTAG system, engineers now have an 'out-of-the-box' solution for debugging and testing boards populated with JTAG devices," says Dominic Plunkett, chief technology officer at XJTAG. "Design engineers can now debug and test their printed circuits in hours as opposed to days/weeks with other competitive systems."

In addition to the new chain debugger, the XJTAG Development System has been enhanced with a host of other new features to speed up board design and prototype testing. For example, the connection test now includes built-in testing of pull-up and pull-down resistors, along with more precise fault detection. Within XJAnalyser, BSDL file auto-detection has been improved and the library of reusable JTAG scripts has been greatly expanded. It is also much quicker now to set up non-JTAG devices following enhancements to the Devscript utility for XJEase.

The powerful and easy-to-use XJTAG boundary scan Development System meets the growing market need for a cost-effective solution for testing tightly-packed printed circuit boards populated with ball grid array (BGA) and chip scale devices, which cannot be tested by traditional methods.

The XJTAG system 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 (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), microprocessors and many other devices. XJTAG also enables In-System Programming of FPGAs, CPLDs (Complex Programmable Logic Devices) and Flash memories.

"Many board designers and developers are still unaware of the capability of boundary scan systems and the fact that they provide a cost-effective solution particularly for smaller, more tightly packed circuit boards with less test points and an increasing proportion of JTAG-compliant chips," said Simon Payne, XJTAG's CEO. "We invite engineers to visit our web site and take advantage of our free 30-day trial and see for themselves the power of XJTAG."

The XJTAG Development System incorporates XJAnalyser, XJEase, XJRunner, XJLink and XJDemo. XJAnalyser is a powerful tool for circuit visualisation that provides a simple graphical view of the state of all JTAG pins. XJEase is the high-level, BASIC-like test description language for manipulating non-JTAG devices. XJRunner is a production optimised version of the XJTAG Development System, designed specifically for contract manufacturers and production sites. XJLink is a USB 2.0 hardware module used to connect the computer with the unit under test. XJDemo is a fully populated demonstrator board, with tutorials designed to provide the developer with a rapid understanding of the XJTAG system and how to simulate faults.

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

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.

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