Cover-Extend Technology, from Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A), is a limited access solution for In-Circuit Test (ICT) users that eliminates the need for physical test points. It offers benefits that traditional VTEP test cannot provide. The Agilent Cover-Extend Technology, which is part is Agilent’s VTEP v2.0 Powered test suite, is a hybrid between two established test methodologies in the electronic manufacturing industry: Boundary Scan and VTEP Vectorless Test.
Agilent customers with valid software-upgrade contracts for the i3070 and VTEP-equipped fixtures can receive this new technology by purchasing an additional software license and a fully VTEP-compatible fixture hardware upgrade. Pricing for the license will include bundles for new and current Agilent boundary-scan customers. Pricing for the VTEP fixture hardware upgrade will be similar to existing Agilent VTEP fixture hardware products. Limited shipments of the product have begun. Full availability will be in the second half of 2008.
Unlike traditional VTEP test, which requires physical test points on the printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) for the injection of test stimulus signals, Agilent’s Cover-Extend relies on stimulus provided by Boundary Scan cells, which do not require physical test points.
- Improved test coverage, which preserves users’ investment in in-circuit testers. Cover-Extend can recover up to 50-percent node access.
- Significant savings on fixturing, a continuous operating cost that can easily exceed the price of the ICT system itself over time. A typical factory using Cover-Extend on 30 lines can potentially save up to $500,000 per year.
- Strain relief on solder joints, resulting from fewer test probes needed underneath high-density ICs (e.g., BGAs), greatly reduce potential solder-joint damage due to excessive strain.
More information: Agilent Medalist VTEP v2.0 (pdf)