XJTAG Boundary Scan System Enables Barric to Increase PCB Yields

12/19/2005 - Barric Limited, a UK based contract electronics manufacturer, has selected XJTAG as its boundary scan test solution partner. The XJTAG system has been implemented at Barric's 12,000 square foot production facility at Diss in Norfolk, England.

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 JTAG devices such as ball grid array (BGA) and chip scale devices, which cannot be tested by traditional methods.

According to Barric, since introducing XJTAG the company has seen production yields increase significantly. "The XJTAG system is an excellent and highly versatile product which has transformed the way we test complex printed circuit boards populated with BGA devices," said Simon Bayley, technical director at Barric.

"XJTAG is easy to use, requires no training, enables rapid fault diagnosis and consistently gives us 80% test coverage across digital circuits," added Simon Bayley. "We can now test our boards in a matter of minutes rather than hours and we have reduced the number of more complex board faults. This is good news for customers and for our overall efficiency as these boards typically contain large and expensive chips such as FPGAs, which we do not want to hold in our inventory any longer than necessary."

Barric provides a range of electronics manufacturing services from prototyping and new product introductions through to printed circuit assembly, system build and repair. The company offers low volume, high mix, high-technology manufacturing and specialises in prototyping as well as short run and batch production of printed circuits.

"We opted for the XJTAG system ahead of competitive products due to its price, speed of development and because the technical support was excellent," added Simon Bayley. "In addition, because the test scripts are device rather than board-centric in XJTAG, we are able to reuse them on different projects - this is a major benefit for a company that manufactures numerous different board designs for multiple customers each month."

Barric works for variety of original equipment manufacturers across communications, medical, industrial and consumer markets. Having a sophisticated boundary scan solution is becoming a prerequisite and many customers are already using XJTAG during the board design and development stage.

"We manufacture a dozen or so different development boards for one Cambridge-based company and work closely with their designers to ensure that XJTAG is optimised to best effect," said Sarah Green, test engineer at Barric. "Using XJTAG, the designer or developer can automatically select or 'pack' all the relevant data for a particular board BSDL files, netlists, XJEase files, pin mapping files etc. and forward this to our production team. This streamlines the whole development process and ensures that the yields are kept high and that any recurring issues are looped back to the design stage for rectifying."

The powerful and easy-to-use XJTAG Development 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 ball grid array (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.

The XJTAG Development System can migrate through the product life cycle from early design to field support and repair. XJTAG enables circuit designers to shorten the development cycle and prototyping process by facilitating early test development, early design validation of CAD netlists, fast generation of complex functional tests and test re-use across circuits that use the same devices. XJTAG test scripts are also re-usable and portable across different boards, due to the novel device-centric approach that the designers have adopted.

Simon Payne, chief executive at XJTAG, said: "XJTAG is becoming a popular choice for contract manufacturers who are under pressure to improve yields and because of the prevalence of BGA devices on modern printed circuits need to complement their in-circuit, functional or flying probe test equipment with a cost-effective boundary scan solution."

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 info@xjtag.com.

About Barric
Barric Limited, a UK based contract electronics manufacturer, provides a range of electronics manufacturing services from prototyping and new product introductions through to printed circuit assembly, system build and repair for original equipment manufacturers across communications, medical, industrial and consumer markets. The company offers low volume, high mix, high-technology manufacturing and specialises in prototyping as well as short run and batch production of printed circuits. Barric operates a 12,000 square foot production facility at Diss in Norfolk, England.

About XJTAG (www.xjtag.com)
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 utilise 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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