Boundary Scan Controller
Chip on Board (COB) enables size reduction of 80%
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    30 Computers and other information processing equipment
    332 Instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing, etc.

GÖPEL electronic designs, produces and sells professional Boundary Scan test equipment, as well as image processing systems and customized functional test systems. Objective of the Application Experiment (AE) was the introduction of Chip On Board technology (COB) together with VHDL as design language and approach for a highly complex FPGA into GÖPEL electronics business. Within the scope of the experiment the existing Boundary Scan controller on PC/AT basis was transformed into a PCMCIA based product. The existing Boundary Scan controller was developed using packaged chips and a FPGA designed by a design company. Due to board dimensions and maximum component height it was not possible to use this product in portable personal computers such as notebooks and laptops. The new technology (COB) in connection with smallest possible structures on PCBs allowed the reduction of the size of both components and board by about 80% compared to the former product. Thus, the new product was produced as a PCMCIA Card.

The capability of the product to be used now in portable computers opens new markets since it is possible to realize very small PC based Boundary Scan test systems for service and maintenance purposes. The new COB based Boundary Scan controller for PCMCIA was first presented at the International Test Conference 1997 in Washington, D.C., and PRODUCTRONICA ’97 in Munich.

During the AE, GÖPEL introduced COB, a difficult and previously unknown technology to them, into their business. The extensive commands, including the selection of required equipment and training of the manufacturing staff were learnt by the management and development engineers. Furthermore, the FPGA designers learnt the description and simulation of a given digital circuit using VHDL, the implementation of this into a highly complex FPGA (25000 gates) and the possible interface for later migration to an ASIC.

During this AE unforeseen problems had to be solved which resulted in many lessons being learnt. These lessons were mainly related to problems with the dies e.g. delivery times, availability, amount, prices, manufacturing and implementation

The planned duration of the AE was 12 months from 1 November 1996 to 31 October 1997 and the project was finished in time. However, due to the problems which occurred during the AE the real costs exceeded planned costs of 130.000 ECU by 10%. The payback period will be approximately 1,5 years and, assuming a 3 year product life, the ROI will be around 400%.


    GÖPEL electronic GmbH
    Göschwitzer Str. 58/60
    07745 Jena, Germany

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

COB, FPGA and VHDL technology provided GÖPEL electronic GmbH with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

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