However, accessing the JTAG feature in a reliable and repeatable manner has always been an aspect somewhat neglected by boundary-scan technology and programmable device vendors. Until recently it has been largely the responsibility of the end user to liaise with either the functional test system builder or maybe an In-Circuit Test (ICT) bureau to make sure that JTAG tester hardware is 'production ready'.
Now though we see the co-incidence of two capabilities that can combine to make a powerful, adaptable and low-cost bench-top ATE (Automatic Test Equipment) system. With the introduction of multi-function JTAG testers such as the ‘MIOS’ series from JTAG Technologies you get a low-cost, compact (100mm x 100mm) JTAG-based tester complete with mixed signal IO channels (voltage, measure, source and frequency) that can be embedded directly in to one of several re-configurable test fixtures - complete with a bed-of-nails interface. Add a power supply and any other measurement resources you might require and your ATE hardware is complete.