SharpEye Q&A

Why is testability analysis needed?

Testability problems are the major obstacle to adequate test coverage. Deep counters, uninitializable memories, one shots and oscillators prevent effective testing either because of tester limitations or increased test development costs. A 20-bit counter, for example, requires over a million vectors to test, which is not practical on most testers. Manual analysis is time consuming, difficult, and likely to miss problems.

How is SHARPEYE software different from other testability analyzers?

SHARPEYE software is menu driven, easy-to-use and provides a high level report which includes a tutorial explanation of all reported issues and their implications. Other testability analyzers that give observability and controllability numbers are limited and difficult to use. Moreover, these tools produce insufficient results and fail to identify consequences.

Do users have to change their design criteria in order to use SHARPEYE software?

SHARPEYE software adapts to each company's design criteria. The software has a table of testability issues and users select those identified by their organization as important. Users weight those items as appropriate and then SHARPEYE software analyzes the design based on the selected criteria for testability. Once users establish the "weighted value" of testability features designated by their company's quality goals, they simply enter the model name and design and SHARPEYE software runs the testability analysis.

Can SHARPEYE software help a company's process improvement goals for ISO9000 certification or the Malcolm Baldridge competition?

Total Quality Management is a philosophy of pursuing continuous improvement through integrated efforts of all members of an organization. Quality can not be a separate function for a company to aspire to these metrics -- quality must be incorporated into every process to succeed. One comprehensive testability tool suitable for Design, Test, Quality and Management functions can deliver impressive results for improving overall design standards.

How does SHARPEYE testability analyzer work for concurrent engineering organizations?

SHARPEYE software performs for all members of a concurrent engineering team. Designers use SHARPEYE software to steer designs toward corporate quality goals by building testability into all their designs. Test enjoys a smooth hand-off from Design. And, for those problems that do make it through to test, test engineers can easily produce tutorial feedback reports for Design and Management. Management avoids costly rework cycles and speeds time-to-market.

How does SHARPEYE testability analyzer fit into a traditional engineering environment?

In traditional settings, design and test engineering organizations are somewhat isolated. Designers create designs, write test vectors to confirm designs, and then pass designs off to manufacturing. Test gets a design as a "done deal" and must find a way to test or bypass it during test. As you might imagine this scenario can be difficult. SHARPEYE software, when used by both design and test engineers, gives both organizations the checks and balances necessary for improved process flow between their functions thereby avoiding unnecessary failures or delays.

When problems do arise, technically helpful reports are easily generated and resolution can be accomplished quickly.

Does SHARPEYE software work on JEDEC based PLDs? What about more complex PLDs, FPGAs or small scan-free gate arrays?

SHARPEYE software supports nearly all JEDEC based PLDs available today including AMD MACH. It also supports Actel's ACT families, Altera's MAX and FLEX devices, Lattice's pLSI and ispLSI families, and XILINX' LCAs. Additional device support is added continually.

How does SHARPEYE software help with in-circuit board testing?

In addition to fault coverage related testability issues, SHARPEYE software can rate a design for ease of disabling (digital guarding). In-circuit board testing requires that each device have a disable condition so that nearby devices can be tested without interference. SHARPEYE software checks for disabling problems with the device design and recommends improvements.

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