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

Authored on: Oct 5, 2011 by Al Crouch

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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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