The IC tester.....

Long time since I last posted. Thanks to Feedjit, I found that most of my visitors visited my projects page which has no mention of my current favorite baby- The IC tester.

When I used to look at IC testers with their little LCD screens and heavy price tags, something in me told me that not everything was the way I wanted it to be.


Now all testers contain some microprocessor/microcontroller, LCD screen/7 segment display and all such stuff. I'm not doing anything out of the world, all that I plan to do is to use a processor and a display far better than possible in an IC tester. But won't that cost even more?

Thankfully no! Because my customer would already own it, since it would be a computer present in all hardware labs today.

Such a design would have other advantages as well. When I add support for new IC's, all that would be required is to upgrade an existing database, and it might prove to be as simple as downloading a file from a website and pasting it into a directory!

Here are the basics. The tester consists of an interface with a PC which can be used to switch between the various pins of an IC (to be tested). Now similar to an 8051 microcontroller, data is always written to the port latch for each pin and read directly from each pin. Initially, the data lines are switched between each of the pins and then data is written to the pins. Now the controls switches to the O/P pins and the voltage values available there are read into the PC. These values are matched with the values in the database and the IC can be tested.

Every pin can be configured as an O/P or I/P pin as per requirement and hence a wide array of logic IC's can be tested. Moreover analog voltage values can be applied and hence most analog IC's can also be tested.

Other than building the actual tester, I am currently working on the design to enable it to test sequential circuits as well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as far as the pricing is concerned. If all goes well, it can be priced very competitively.


vikas said...

nice man keep the good work going