Introducing JTAG Integration with VTOS Tools™
JTAG is an acronym for Joint Test Action Group. JTAG is widely used as a processor debug port – a way to read and write processor registers and memories. Nearly all modern embedded processors support it. Embedded engineers rely on JTAG for programming on-board memories and for software debugging.
When a board arrives, fresh from manufacturing, it comes without any software programmed into the boot memory of that embedded device. In order to begin testing the new hardware design, and to begin testing the application software, a JTAG programmer is used to program software into the boot memory of the device. Once programmed, the software is used to test the hardware or debug application features.
When designers use the application software to test the system, they must verify that DDR memory and a communications interface (such as Serial, USB, or Ethernet) is working properly. DDR memory is the large main memory used by the application software. A communications interface is required so that a designer can interact with the software running on the embedded device.
Some of the challenges with this method is having to fight issues trying out new software on unproven hardware with unproven DDR settings. The challenge is compounded when relying on new communication hardware with new communications software.
Kozio offers new product integration that reduces the effort of bringing up new boards, or automating the testing of newly manufactured boards. Kozio is providing seamless integration with JTAG programmers. This new integration allows a designer to install Kozio’s VTOS Tools, connect a JTAG hardware pod between a PC and their target device, and immediately begin loading software for DDR calibration and test, hardware interface testing, and in-system device programming.
The embedded software provided by Kozio runs on any processor in a given processor family. No software porting or compiling is required to load and run the VTOS Tool embedded software. The embedded software is also very small and loads very fast, typically in under 2 seconds. In addition, the VTOS Tool embedded software does not rely on DDR memory, and the JTAG interface is used for communications, allowing the new hardware communication interface to be debugged without having to use it for test control.
New Flow for New Boards
Using the new Kozio VTOS Tools integrated with JTAG, a designer uses VTOS DDR™ to automatically determine optimal DDR settings. Once stable DDR settings are configured, the designer uses VTOS Scan™ to quickly test all hardware interfaces ensuring that they will function properly for the application OS and software. Once hardware interfaces are verified, VTOS Program™ is used to perform fast in-system programming. This software allows you to transfer files form a PC to the target device using the fastest communications interface you have available, thus reducing the time required to program large or small images.
Once happy with your overall test and device programming process, the tools export scripts that are used for automated testing. You then run long regression tests, or production test sequences, using the generated scripts and your favorite test executive.
To learn more about this new offering, here are a couple links: