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SMT & Inspection | October 02, 2007

Westinghouse Rail Systems selects XJTAG

Westinghouse Rail Systems has selected the XJTAG boundary scan development system to verify the integrity of its prototype hardware designs, which are destined for use in safety critical automatic train control applications.
Matt Lee, European business development manager, XJTAG said: "We are delighted that Westinghouse, a major name in the industrial marketplace, has selected the XJTAG system to debug and test its range of prototype printed circuit boards (PCBs). The XJTAG system is designed by engineers for engineers and provides a comprehensive set of tools to test, debug and program complex printed circuits containing ball grid array (BGA) devices."

Engineers at Westinghouse Rail Systems' headquarters at Chippenham, Wiltshire (England), are using the XJTAG Professional development system to debug and test highly-complex control PCBs. These boards contain multiple high pin-count BGA devices which are inaccessible to traditional test probes as they are directly mounted to the board via solder balls on the underside of the chip.

Jeff Smith, hardware engineer, R&D, Westinghouse Rail Systems, said: "Boundary scan is a 'must-have' tool for any company developing high value, high complexity, BGA-populated boards. We selected XJTAG ahead of competitive products due to its ease-of-use, its extensive library of functional tests, and its low cost of ownership. It also has a powerful range of functions that allow us, for example, to control devices from the inside and regain visibility of all the hidden BGA interconnects in the JTAG chain. We can also read or write pins and busses with a single click using XJAnalyser."

"XJTAG also enables hardware verification to take place without the need to develop specific test software to run on the target board," added Smith. "This is important as it has brought an end to the classic arguments between hardware and software engineers blaming each other when a new design does not work."

"Westinghouse has a reputation for providing customers with safe, reliable solutions on time and to budget so it's important that we have the right tools to ensure that we continue to meet these exacting standards," added Smith. "With XJTAG, we have a powerful boundary scan system that enables us to thoroughly check the integrity of our prototype designs – both the JTAG and non-JTAG devices, and by using the XJIO expansion board we can verify signals right through to the backplane connectors of the boards."

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