Boundary scan

What is boundary scan?
A boundary scan is a test standard that helps define the architecture and techniques for solving hardware problems related to components such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) and integrated circuits. Conventional in-circuit testers are not well suited to testing highly complex and dense PCBs. Short test times, increased diagnostic options, higher test coverage and fewer Cost of capital are just a few of the potential benefits of a boundary scan.

The development of surface mount packages, the development of multi-layer printed circuit boards for additional connections, and the miniaturization of housing packaging were some of the factors that led to the development of boundary scan technology. It was developed as a long term solution for circuit testing. A boundary scan can, with the help of the dedicated test logic built into modern integrated circuits, determine whether each device is used correctly and on the Circuit board or the IC is soldered.

Microprocessors, telecommunications encoders, bus logic, bridges, DSPs, and many others use boundary scan technology. Intel, Xilinx, Freescale, Broadcom, and Analog are some of the device manufacturers that have embraced boundary scan technology. Devices enabled with boundary scan use four to five dedicated test access port signals such as test mode selection, test data in, test data out, test pulse and test logic reset. The data captured by the signals are compared to the expected results and the necessary action is then taken.

Boundary Scan significantly reduces production and development costs. With the help of automation, it can speed up test development and improve product quality with better defect coverage. One of the greatest advantages of using boundary scan is the ability to turn extremely difficult problems in PCB testing into well-structured problems that can then be solved with the help of software applications. Smaller businesses that cannot afford expensive in-circuit testers typically use boundary scans.

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