Automated testing via JTAG
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:23 authored by Shuaib Ehsan
With the invention of microcontrollers and integral circuit boards, there is a necessity for developing a test procedure for those boards. Microcontrollers are getting very small, which makes fault finding in these boards very difficult. RF Technology Pty. Ltd. is a Sydney based company that develops radio base stations and has seen an increase in their faulty circuit boards. The first aim and objective of this project is to develop a systematic way to find faults in the control circuit board in one of their products. The fault-finding procedure should test the control board by checking the operation of all the chips on the control circuit board and the tracks between the chips. The problem with testing the control circuit board is that it must be taken out of the radio base station, however the control board must be powered on. The solution to this problem and the second aim and objective of this project, is to design another circuit board (test jig) to power the control board while being tested. Designing and manufacturing circuit boards can be very expensive and time-consuming which can lead to problems with the budget and time frame of the project. The solution to this problem and the third aim and objective of this project, is to redesign and assemble a pick and place machine. Due to the complexity of the control circuit board, keeping track of the tests, the test results and the status of the control circuit board is a problem. The solution is to design a Graphical User Interface (GUI) the test result and control circuit board status which is the final task in this project. The fault-finding procedure was developed using the standard called Joint Test Action Group (JTAG). JTAG is an electronics industry association formed in the 1980s for developing a method of checking designs and testing printed circuit boards. Using JTAG five out of seven microcontrollers on the RF Technology control circuit board and the tracks between them were tested. A test jig was designed and manufactured to reliably test the control circuit boards. The result of combining the test procedure, new test jig and the GUI is very significant for RF Technology to test and repair their control circuit boards.