Browse Prior Art Database

Methodology for Testing Digital Computing Devices Automatically Via Guardband

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107580D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 5 page(s) / 238K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bettis, AC: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a methodology for testing digital computing devices automatically via Guardband. The automated guardband testing program permits the complete automated testing of a product outside the product's specification limits to its functional limits without destroying the product. The program is resident on an IBM compatible personal computer (PC controller) which, through an IEEE-488 interface card, controls an environmental chamber, power supplies, pulse generators, data logger and up to fifteen test units.

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Methodology for Testing Digital Computing Devices Automatically Via Guardband

       Disclosed is a methodology for testing digital computing
devices automatically via Guardband.  The automated guardband testing
program permits the complete automated testing of a product outside
the product's specification limits to its functional limits without
destroying the product.  The program is resident on an IBM compatible
personal computer (PC controller) which, through an IEEE-488
interface card, controls an environmental chamber, power supplies,
pulse generators, data logger and up to fifteen test units.

      Automated Guardband Testing was designed to completely emulate
the duties of the technician.  The chamber, power supplies, pulse
generators, data logger, and units under test are under control of
the program at all times.  Through a multiplexer, the program is able
to display the video output of each unit under test on the same
monitor.  A video camera is controlled by the program to record the
state of the display of a unit if it fails to the point that the
diagnostics program is no longer running.  When a unit under test
continues to function, each message transmitted is logged to an audit
file, and every error is recorded to a history file as the actual
voltage registered by the data logger.  Also recorded on this record
are the failing unit, the temperature, the humidity, and the time.
If there is no failure, the lower or upper limit of the guardband
test is recorded to the history file.

      Key to the operation of the program is a board called the
Guardband Automation Adapter.  Up to three Guardband Automation
Adapters can be mounted in the same PC controller.  Up to five
printer cables can be attached to each board.  Printer cables from
the units under test are attached to this board in the controller
which the unit under test will sense as its own printer.  Messages
directed to the printer are received by the board.  A background
interrupt handler reads the messages and sends these messages on to a
printer attached to the PC controller and to an error message array
in the Automated Guardband Testing program for processing.

      When the Automated Guardband Testing program is activated, the
program displays a menu, then, if not in recovery, waits for a
keyboard interrupt.  An operator causes the interrupt by pressing any
key on the keyboard. The program then analyzes the task desired based
on the key pressed.  From the menu, the operator may select one or
more of the options indicated on the menu:  Start Chamber, Start Job,
Terminate Job, Reset Recovery, Enable Devices, and Disable Devices.
If the program is in recovery, that is, if the power has failed, when
power is restored, the guardband test enters automatic recovery at
the beginning of the last temperature under test at the time of the
failure.  The test can also be interrupted at any point by an
operator, and recovery will occur when the jo...