Industrial Communication Module – POST & Manufacturing Tests

(Freescale PowerQUICC, BSD, VxWorks)


A client who manufactures high reliability communication interfaces based on the Freescale PowerQUICC II processors, custom ASIC and VxWorks Real Time Operating System required a Power-On Self Test (POST) and test application for their manufacturing process.


The LCI team developed a complete solution with the following blocks:

Power-On Self Test (POST) module
POST is the first code that is executed by the processor after power-on and runs before the operating system starts. Starting with the BSP provided by the processor manufacturer, LCI developed all low-level modules and libraries required for the test. This code ran in bare-metal scenario and was written in C. The code initialized all major processor components and performed quick tests to identify hardware failures:
• DDR and Flash memory tests
• communication with ASIC and tests of ASIC shared memory
• Gigabit Ethernet modules tests
• USART modules tests

VxWorks test module
To deliver the required test coverage, LCI developed functions that performed extensive test sequences in addition to POST tests. This module was written in C/C++ and ran in VxWork 6.9 user mode. This module communicated with the PC that controlled the test sequence using one of the Ethernet controllers.

Test Sequence Application
The Test Sequence Application that the LCI team implemented ran on a test PC and controlled the test sequences on one or more connected DUTs (Device Under Test). The application was written in C# and together with the VxWorks test module provided the following functionalities:
• recipe-based test sequences that can be fine-tuned for required test coverage and test time criteria
• ability to store test results in local and remote database
• ability to generate and write serial numbers to DUTs
• ability to configure hardware and write MAC addresses to DUTs
• ability to print manufacturing labels

Winning Result

LCI delivered a POST test that guaranteed the detection of hardware faults and reported to the end-user during system start-up. The manufacturing tests that LCI provided ensured high manufacturing quality and traceability.

Market Served: Industrial Automation