Test and Evaluation

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ITDev has built up a wealth of experience in the evaluation of ASICs, FPGA designs, PCBs and systems. We can work with you to turn your system requirements into a detailed list of compliances. We will then plan tests targeted at verifying, as efficiently and effectively as possible, that each compliance is met.

Automated Testing and Evaluation

Our engineers are especially experienced in test automation, not only for evaluation and characterisation, but also for production testing. We have found automation of evaluation tasks to be highly cost effective, reducing the number of man-hours spent repeating tests over design iterations, voltage, temperature and multiple boards/devices. This also permits more thorough testing to be performed at a much smaller incremental cost.

Along with virtualised test environments we use a variety of scripting languages for test automation, including Python and Perl.

Mixed Signal Evaluation and Characterisation

ITDev are experienced in evaluating and characterising digital, analogue and mixed-signal systems. From digital logic levels and timing, through to analogue signal-to-noise ratio and spectral analysis, we are familiar with a wide variety of measurement techniques. We have experience with specialist equipment and techniques, such as those for high performance phase noise measurements. Our engineers have a thorough understanding of the underlying technologies, allowing us to plan and execute tests intelligently. We can analyse the results and, where appropriate, suggest strategies for improving design performance.

Embedded Software and FPGA Builds for Hardware Evaluation

ITDev has worked on several large projects developing specialised hardware evaluation code. Existing reconfigurable logic and CPUs in the system can be used to test the system that they are part of. The advantage of this approach is that these components have direct high-speed access to the system under test. We have supplied custom hardware evaluation FPGA builds and software to test a wide range of devices and interfaces. This enabled our customer to pinpoint design issues that would be hard to isolate or could easily have been missed by testing with functional software and FPGA builds. This approach also had the advantage of providing the basis of a production test solution as well. For more information, see our news article on High Speed PCB Evaluation.

Production Test

We have been involved in production test design for FPGA designs, embedded systems and ASICs. For production testing of FPGA-based systems, we have experience of FPGA test builds as mentioned above. We have developed test strategies for large and small scale embedded systems and implemented production test software to control and monitor the system under test and the test equipment. We have also developed intuitive user interfaces to assist the test engineers in running the tests and back-end databases to record and report test results.

Design for Test

Designing with a clear test strategy is not only essential for efficient and effective production testing, but can also provide huge advantages when it comes to evaluation and debug. We have experience of planning and implementing test strategies at ASIC, FPGA, PCB and system level. For example, we have designed both analogue and digital on-chip test points to allow block-level verification in hardware. For monitoring low noise, or high frequency signals, we have used on-chip processing, such as down-converters, to allow high accuracy measurements to be made with standard test equipment. We are also experienced in designing Built-In Self-Test (BIST) blocks, which can be valuable during production test and evaluation, as well as in the final application environment.

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