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/ Electronics Tips

Creating SVF files using Xilinx Vivado

Creating SVF files to program Xilinx FPGAs has historically been accomplished using iMPACT, installed as part of Xilinx’s ISE Design Suite.  With Xilinx’s most recent FPGAs this is no longer possible and instead their new tool, Vivado, must be used. The following instructions guide you through this process and assume version 2016.1 or later of Vivado. […]

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Wiring a bed of nails test jig for JTAG

When using JTAG with a Device Under Test (DUT) connected to a bed-of-nails test fixture, often little attention is paid to the way the JTAG signals are wired. This article (published in SMT magazine last year) gives a helpful explanation of why it is important to get this right, and gives tips for best practice.

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Programming the TI MSP430 Microcontroller

Although it has a JTAG port, the TI MSP430 microcontroller is not a boundary scan capable device. Instead of the standard boundary scan registers there is a set of registers that allow the various functions of the device to be accessed and configured. […]

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Clearing Altera Cyclone III Devices

In the XJTAG application note “Working with configured Xilinx and Altera devices” the point is made that the way to get the best test coverage is to test with blank devices. Blanking a device has its own challenges – […]

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XJTAG Boundary Scan Testing with OMAP 35xx devices

Texas Instruments’ OMAP processors are becoming more and more popular.  We have seen quite a few come through the office recently. The good news is that the OMAP processors do support boundary scan testing. […]

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Debugging faults: always remember XJAnalyser!

The traditional technique for debugging printed circuit boards is to “observe” the state using oscilloscopes or multi-meters and deduce a fault. This method actually suppresses a very powerful engineering instinct that would help us a lot if we could only give it a better chance. […]

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Bench Power Supplies

I bet most of you haven’t considered how you wire up a bench power supply – you just set the voltage and current limit and off you go. […]

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