SystemBISTTM IP enables system-wide Embedded Test and Programmable Logic Configuration

Patent pending Embedded Configuration and Test Processor provides breakthrough in cost of electronic test and in-the-field logic upgrades

Mountain View, CA - June 17, 2002.

Intellitech Corporation, the technology leader in scan-based debug and test, announced today the availability of the SystemBISTTM embedded configuration and test Processor. The dedicated processor is used for deterministic Built-In-Self-Test (BIST) and FPGA/CPLD in-system configuration on single PCBs or in multi-PCB systems. This new member of Intellitech's TEST-IPTM family provides a solution for in-the-field logic upgrades of FPGAs and CPLDs from different vendors as well as fixtureless on-board digital test. The company has several foreign and domestic patents pending on the technology.

FPGA/CPLD Real Estate and Cost Savings

Today, special electrically alterable configuration PROMs are now used for loading FPGA designs at power-up. Typically, one to three erase-able PROMs are needed per FPGA, but as FPGA density has increased as many as seven or more PROMs are required to program a single FPGA device! A typical PCB today with three high-density FPGAs could require $200 or more in re-configurable PROM parts cost and the PROM circuitry could use 2.25 square inches of PCB area or more. PROMs usually use a proprietary method for programming the FPGAs, that is, PROMs from vendor "A" won't work with FPGAs from vendor "B" and vice-versa. PROMs only program FPGAs and don't provide a method for re-configuring a non-volatile CPLD in the field.

The SystemBISTTM solution is vendor independent, so no matter which CPLD or FPGA vendor you choose to place in your scan-chain it can be programmed. It programs any IEEE 1532 or IEEE 1149.1 compliant programmable device, regardless of the type or the quantity of devices. The SystemBISTTM parts cost is a small fraction of the erasable PROM price and only takes half the PCB area that the PROMs require, less when more FPGAs are used. When SystemBISTTM is coupled with other members of the TEST-IP TM family, it can program all of the FPGAs in a multi-PCB System. SystemBISTTM uses commodity FLASH to store FPGA configuration data; multiple designs can be held in memory to enable re-configurable products. The implementation is flexible enough that on-board FLASH used by an on-board general purpose CPU can be shared with SystemBISTTM reducing the parts cost even more.

SystemBISTT Benefits:

  • Single or multi-board system configuration and test from a single source
  • Ability to configure 1149.1 and 1532 compliant CPLD and FPGAs from any vendor
  • Deterministic embedded test with automatic diagnostic error codes for each test
  • Stand-alone IC that does not need a microprocessor or embedded software to operate
  • Uses inexpensive commodity FLASH for test and configuration memory
  • Small FLASH memory requirements due to test and configuration data re-use and compression
  • Reduced PCB parts cost and area for programming FPGAs.
  • Verification and fast downloads of configuration and test files using EclipseTM tool
  • Support for third party boundary-scan test tools through SVF vector format
  • Structured approach that can be re-used on next generation designs


SystemBISTTM is available now in volume or sample quantities. The standard SystemBISTTM product is a stand-alone 144 pin TQFP IC. Other packaging and options are also available. In addition, SystemBISTT is available as licensed Intellectual Property in VHDL/Verilog that can be integrated into your custom IC or System-on-Chip. Evaluation PCBs and entire evaluation systems with reference designs are also available. Please contact Intellitech Corp at 603-868-7116 and press 2 for sales for more information.

About Intellitech:

Intellitech is the technology leader in scan-based debug and test solutions for SoC (System-on-a-Chip), ICs, PCBs and Systems. Intellitech's TEST-IPTM family provides patent pending infrastructure IP that enables embedded test, debug and configuration of ICs, PCBs and Systems. Intellitech's proprietary solutions enable customers to build self-testable and in-the-field re-configurable products. The unified test and configuration approach enables customers to lower manufacturing test costs, provide field adaptable products and retard product obsolescence with field upgrade-able logic. The TEST-IPTM family of products is coupled with the Eclipse Scan-Based Diagnostic and Test tools to provide a powerful combination of hardware and software tools for debug analysis and test validation, prior to embedding into the customer's product.

Intellitech is focused on providing a complete customer solution early during the design phase that ensures success. The engineering and support team is dedicated only to providing a comprehensive low cost configuration and test strategy for the entire product. Over the years, the company has been successful in introducing new solutions based on IEEE 1149.1 configuration, debug and test technology.

Intellitech's customer base ranges from companies providing the latest networking products to ATE companies providing cutting edge semiconductor testers, from semiconductor manufacturers to space related companies providing satellites, and to large computer companies delivering multi-processor systems. The company's broad product selection, strong support team, and compelling value proposition have resulted in solid profitability and a strong balance sheet. Intellitech has sales and support offices located in Durham, NH, Mountain View, CA, Ottawa, Canada, and Munich, Germany.