Hardware development for reliability and functional tests

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Szabó Zoltán
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

High complexity circuits used in error critical systems demand a well-established test framework, and with it, often a device designed especially for the test circuit. As an intern at GE Healthcare I was appointed to design such a test hardware, which serves as the topic of this thesis. The circuit design begins with the clarification of its specifications, followed by presenting the test environment and the device under test. The basics of the used communication ports – like ARCNET, CAN and RS232 – and their functions will be also reviewed, as well as the used signals. Later, the paper details the design, covering the important circuit solutions such as application of power supplies, port extenders, communication port drivers and transistor arrays. The printed circuit board design, the assembly of the circuit board and its initial testing concludes the presentation of the hardware development.

As the system is FPGA-based, the software is written in VHDL. The language is briefly reviewed, then the software system is presented, as well as the form of communication with the test framework. The introduction of the entities and the completed VHDL codes – such as the SPI driver and RS232 interface – concludes the thesis.


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