Thales UK Selects XJTAG System for Development of SDR Boards

CAMBRIDGE, England, (PRWEB) October 19, 2005

Thales UK ( has selected XJTAGs boundary scan development system to debug and test complex printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in its market-leading range of software defined radios (SDRs).

Thales has adopted the XJTAG system for use by development and production engineers at its Crawley, West Sussex (England) facility. The XJTAG system is also being used by Thales contract manufacturing partner.

Initially, the XJTAG system will be used to debug and test the baseband PCBs that form part of the Thales MSN 8100-H software defined radio (SDR), the first European operational software radio. This radio is designed for naval and ground based applications and will be used on the Royal Navys next class of Destroyers, the Type 45, scheduled to enter service in 2009.

Simon Holder, hardware design manager at Thales UKs Crawley facility, said: XJTAG is a fast, extremely versatile and cost-effective tool for generating high test coverage on PCBs containing both JTAG and non-JTAG devices. The XJTAG system has enabled us to cut the development time for debugging and testing boards by around 20 percent and it has provided the basis for a common design for test strategy, spanning development, first article build, production and field service.

We looked at other boundary scan solutions but we opted for XJTAG due to its price and ease of use, and the fact that test scripts are device rather than board-centric, which makes them reusable on different projects, added Simon Holder. The fact that XJTAG integrated seamlessly with other systems, in particular the LabVIEW graphical development environment was also a major benefit.

Thales UKs defense activities encompass optronics, air defense, sensors, communications and naval systems. It is the UKs second largest defense contractor and employs 10,000 staff. The companys MSN 8100-H software-defined radio platform has been designed as the primary component of a comprehensive high frequency communication network benefiting from the attributes of a versatile, programmable and configurable multi-channel receiver/exciter.

Our SDR platform, as with many of todays network-centric systems, uses the very latest technology. For example, the baseband boards in our MSN 8100-H are densely populated and use fine pitch high density connectors, as well as large and expensive BGA/FPGA devices, all of which make the boards difficult to test by traditional methods, said Gary Delamare, senior engineer, Thales UK. It made sense for us to use the JTAG chain for debug and testing, as more and more devices on our boards were JTAG-enabled

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub is an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. He has written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. He has a clear and simple writing style and is skilled in using infographics and diagrams. He is a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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