Briton EMS Removes Guesswork from Test Equation with XJTAG Boundary Scan

2/17/2006 - Briton EMS, a UK based contract electronics manufacturer, has selected the XJTAG development system as its boundary scan test solution. The XJTAG system has been implemented at Briton EMS’s production facility at Bedford, England, and will enable the manufacturer to rapidly pinpoint faults on complex and expensive printed circuit assemblies featuring high pin count ball grid arrays (BGAs).

"We wanted to remove the guesswork from the test equation and to find a way of rapidly and accurately pinpointing faults on boards that failed their functional test," said Simon Naylor, manufacturing director at Briton EMS. "These boards typically feature one or several JTAG devices, such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), which are inaccessible to probes and oscilloscopes. Using the XJTAG system, we can now isolate a faulty device immediately and rework or reflow the failed component to rectify the problem. This saves us time and increases our yields."

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 BGA and chip scale devices, which cannot be tested by traditional methods.

"We opted for the XJTAG system because it is affordable, easy-to-use and requires no specialist training or dedicated operator as is the case with expensive X-ray systems," added Simon Naylor. "We have also been impressed by the level and quality of technical support from the XJTAG team - and it’s great that they are practically on our doorstep!"

Briton EMS offers a broad range of electronics manufacturing services from printed circuit assembly through to complete product build, providing surface mount as well as conventional through-hole assembly. The company specialises in low to medium volume, high-mix production and also offers electronic and mechanical design services (hardware and software), prototyping, fulfilment and after-market services.

"We are delighted with the XJTAG system, in particular how easy it is to write test routines for devices and the fact that the same scripts can be reused on different projects," added Conor Hogan, test team leader at Briton EMS. "This is a major benefit for a company that manufactures over 1000 different boards each year, an increasing number of which feature one or more BGA devices."

Briton EMS works in partnership with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across different markets including: broadcasting, industrial, instrumentation, medical and telecoms. The XJTAG system is used as a stand alone product and complements the company’s Ersascope BGA inspection system.

"XJTAG has transformed our test routine," added Conor Hogan. "We have seen at first hand the benefit of using the JTAG chain to test our boards and we are now encouraging customers to populate their circuits with JTAG devices, where available, and to ensure that the devices are tracked on the board so that they can be accessed via the JTAG chain."

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.

Pricing for the XJTAG system ranges from £3,500 (US$6,300) to £9,000 (US$16,200).

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

About Briton EMS
Briton EMS is a UK based contract electronics manufacturer which offers a broad range of electronics manufacturing services from printed circuit assembly through to complete product build, providing surface mount as well as conventional through-hole assembly. The company specialises in low to medium volume, high-mix production and also offers electronic and mechanical design services, prototyping, fulfilment and after-market services. Briton EMS works in partnership with original equipment manufacturers across various market sectors including: broadcasting, industrial, instrumentation, medical and telecoms. The company operates two manufacturing facilities in Bedford, England, with a combined capacity of 15,000 square feet.

About XJTAG
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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