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FPGA-Controlled Test: What it is and why is it needed?

Authored on: Oct 5, 2011 by Al Crouch

Technical Paper

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The role that FPGAs have played in computer and communications systems has grown in parallel with the number of gates and the capabilities of these devices. Now FPGAs are emerging as a likely platform for next-generation embedded board test and measurement capabilities which can be employed during design, development, manufacturing, and in the field following product launch. Without requiring a dedicated FPGA, a board-tester-in-a-chip can be easily inserted and removed as it is needed or it can remain in-system. This trend toward FPGA-controlled test (FCT) is a part of the larger shift toward embedded instrumentation as a more effective methodology for validating, testing and debugging circuit boards.

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2 comments
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Dr DSP Posted Oct 20, 2011

This can be an interesting approach for medium sized systems where a dedicated tester would be cost prohibitive. Nice idea.

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MAVERICK23 Posted Nov 30, 2011

With the shrinking of boards and circuits usage of external probes and devices will soon be a thing of the past. This technology path will redefine embedded testing and instrumentation.

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