Keysight Technologies’ Boundary Scan Analyzer Delivers Improved Productivity, Coverage, Throughput

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) announced today that Solution Sources Programming Inc. (SSP), a comprehensive test and measurement solution provider, has achieved significant boundary scan test capabilities using the Keysight x1149 boundary scan analyzer in a standalone configuration or integrated with the Keysight i3070 in-circuit test system.

SSP has used the Keysight x1149-based solution on eleven key projects. Solutions range from low to no-access boards, all the way up to the most complex 50,000-joint network circuit boards of over 9,250 nets.

“Today’s technology is minimizing physical accessibility for traditional in-circuit test (ICT),” said Eric Harris, SSP’s co-founder and senior engineering manager. “Many people believe that when a board falls below 50 percent access, they should look for alternatives to in-circuit test. By using modern platform and fixturing technology, we are able to consistently show customers how to recapture lost coverage and ultimately give their contract manufacturing partners the diagnostics needed to ensure there are no manufacturing defects getting through their line. It’s just about pairing up the right tools for the job.”

Densely populated networking circuit boards face multiple issues when using traditional in-circuit test techniques. Challenges range from not having enough physical space for optimal test points, to high-speed signal transmission and signal integrity concerns, and in some cases, multiple boundary scan chains on one board. The small form-factor of the Keysight benchtop x1149 easily fits on the in-circuit tester to enable a powerful complimentary suite of test capabilities with its ease-of-use and manufacturing readiness. The x1149 also produced faster test times with the solution’s unique Autobank diagnosis capabilities.

“We have done some amazing things using the x1149 combined with the 3070. One customer had over 90 DDRs on their assembly – an area that we traditionally wouldn’t test due to elongated test times. Our team was able to not only test these DDRs at in-circuit test, but did it in less than 60 seconds. Traditional methods would take over five minutes,” added Harris.

Additionally, boards with limited or no test access, such as tablets or small phones, can also benefit from such tools. Keysight’s unique Cover-Extend Technology and its powerful Silicon Nails Boundary Scan capabilities help expand coverage in crucial areas of the boards.

“We have had boards with less than 25 percent access,” said Dan Orlando, SSP’s president and co-founder. “By combining in-circuit test with the x1149, we were able to bring back coverage to the 90 percent range. We’ve been able to deliver significant improvements in test coverage by leveraging our expertise and tools, such as the x1149 to expand our capability in all markets – including tablets, SSD drives and server and networking PCBAs.”

“As board designs increase in complexity, SSP continues to innovate and enable customers to use their extensive boundary scan experience with Keysight’s x1149 platform,” added Orlando. “The x1149 is truly built for manufacturing test. The graphical user interface is intuitive and easy to use, allowing our team to develop and debug tests quickly so that board tests can be implemented rapidly in production for our customers. As engineering teams continue to come out with new designs challenging traditional conventions of manufacturing test, we pride ourselves in creating a manufacturing plan that not only helps their contract manufacturers, but ultimately helps protect their brand equity by capturing faults early in the line.”

Keysight’s product development team continues to extend the application capabilities of the x1149 and collaborate closely with electronics leaders to enhance product quality through innovative boundary scan solutions.

“The combination of SSP’s expertise in developing test applications, together with the extensive boundary scan test capabilities of the x1149, has resulted in improved test coverage,” said NK Chari, director of marketing and support from Keysight’s Measurement Systems Division. “In addition we have seen an improvement in test time on today’s highly sophisticated PCBAs, ranging from networking and server cards, to consumer electronic PCBAs found in tablets and smartphones. We are application-ready and look forward to helping our customers win with better boundary scan test.”

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