How much money is sitting in the bone pile?

Posted on April 29, 2015

Boundary scan testing from Flynn SystemsOne of the most common comments we hear from our customers and business partners sounds something like this: “Well, I’ve heard about boundary scan testing, and have actually used it a bit before. Moving forward, we have a new project we need to use it on, and we have a bone pile I might get to.”

Ahh yes – the infamous bone pile. How many devices are sitting on the shelves of labs all over the world, half-dead, just waiting to be tested and have someone discover the faults, and revive the boards? Dozens? Hundreds?

Someone once estimated there was potentially several hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting in the bone piles at any one time. The pile in question hadn’t been addressed because other projects got in the way, and no one was really certain how to go about testing the boards. These infamous piles are filled with boards that sometimes can be refurbished and sold, or can be diagnosed and the valuable parts can be repurposed. Both scenarios make you look like the hero if you are able to at least determine what went wrong and where it went wrong.

While it may seem like an insurmountable challenge, boundary scan testing using JTAG tools can actually help you diagnose faults on those boards, and make your life very easy when it comes to fixing the boards. And, if you want to experiment with a board, send it over and we’d be happy to help you develop a JTAG boundary scan test that will suit your needs.