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'[PIC]: Checking for a deceased chip?'
2001\06\05@132526 by Nick Veys

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Is there any foolproof method for checking if a PIC has died?  I've had a
couple go zap but be fine, and a couple go zap and no program anymore which
I assume were dead.  But is there a simple test that can be done?

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2001\06\05@135828 by Mark Newland

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Define foolproof??????  Define simple?????

Just cause you zapped it NOW and it works NOW and passes every external test
known to mankind NOW doesn't mean it wasn't damaged.  It could fail tomorrow.

As far as being simple???  different PICS have different features.  You just
wanting to test the COMMON features or are you also wanting to check other
features like WDT, A/D, UART, I2C, etc.  If the A/D is dead but you don't test
it, does that mean the PIC didn't die in some way?  What are you wanting to
test??

Nick Veys wrote:

> Is there any foolproof method for checking if a PIC has died?  I've had a
> couple go zap but be fine, and a couple go zap and no program anymore which
> I assume were dead.  But is there a simple test that can be done?
>
> nickspamKILLspamveys.com | http://www.veys.com/nick
>
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2001\06\05@151021 by Roman Black

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Hmm. I remeber when James was asking for ideas
for a competition project. Maybe a PIC tester??
I have never seen one of these in my internet
wanderings.

I suupose it would have to program the PIC and
check ins/outs from each pin. Really not that
hard?? Might be annoying supporting all the PICs
but many do have the same pinouts.
-Roman



Mark Newland wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\06\05@163900 by Mark Newland

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I wonder if I can get the schematics for the one that Microchip uses themselves.  I
WIN!!!

Would the "PIC tester" only include 16Cxxx models or would the 12C, 17C, and 18C
models need to be tested as well. How about the 16C924 with it's LCD interface.
Would be for both JW and flash parts I assume.  You would almost have to write a
program for EACH model of PIC, program the target IC you wanted to test, and plug it
into an external PCB with input and output stimulus.  Have some external UART to
test that feature, external I2C device to test that feature as well as  the SPI
function. Programmable voltage source to test brownout resets, another programmable
voltage source to test the A/D inputs while at the same time being able to switch in
loads to test the output sink and source currents (on the same pins no less).  Lets
not forget some external counter / frequency generator (or something else) to check
the PWM / Capture functions.  I'm sure there are some other external needs as well.

Not only would you need separate software for each PIC (or group of PICS), but the
hardware would need to accept any type of package (DIP, SOIC, PLCC, etc.) and
connect all this external circuitry to the proper pins for that particular PIC.

Most places usually will have one piece of test equipment with all the external
circuitry and then connect a separate interface adapter.  Much like the modular
design of my Mathias.  I'll design the main test box (software not included) for
$1,000 each if anyone wants to buy one (minimum cumulative orders > 20).  Adaptors
would be extra.  Of course the alternative would be to just go out and buy another
PIC chip and throw the old one away.

Roman Black wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\06\05@171028 by jamesnewton

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I think its a great idea! We DON'T need to test every chip, just the popular
ones. And we don't have to test every feature, just the ones you want to
work with.

And it is perfect for something to add to the design of the pocket
programmer or other open source designs that have a few spare pins to run an
extra IO PIC or so. If you use a nice fat one like an '877, you can test all
the features of other chips. Should also work for discreet logic chips,
etc...

Over time, one would build up a set of good / bad test / response files for
different chips or devices that you commonly work with.

Why waste your time manually testing (or rigging protocol analyzers,
o-scopes, etc...) each time you need to see what the heck is going on with a
device or chip? Build the programmer / test device and start accumulating a
library of test routines for now AND later. Also to share and trade.

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2001\06\05@210918 by Dwayne Reid

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At 05:05 AM 6/6/01 +1000, Roman Black wrote:
>Hmm. I remeber when James was asking for ideas
>for a competition project. Maybe a PIC tester??
>I have never seen one of these in my internet
>wanderings.
>
>I suupose it would have to program the PIC and
>check ins/outs from each pin. Really not that
>hard?? Might be annoying supporting all the PICs
>but many do have the same pinouts.
>-Roman

This would be an extraordinarily useful thing to have for checking out
emulator pods that get "OOPSed" or "OUCHed".  Any ideas?

dwayne



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2001\06\07@134952 by Peter L. Peres

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> This would be an extraordinarily useful thing to have for checking out
> emulator pods that get "OOPSed" or "OUCHed".  Any ideas?

You could probably resort to cold junction testing. This is basically a
controlled current source/sink and an A/D for each pin to be tested. The
source can be a D/A. The DUT has all its inputs tested over a defined DC
range and the analyzer draws conclusions about whether any structures
close to the IO pins has damage. It is not foolproof and it tells nothing
of the inner workings of the chip, however if it was damaged by something
external, then it should have a fair rate of success in finding the fault.

Such analyzers can be trained using a good chip and then tell if others
are good or bad (more exactly 'like' the probe or different). Based on the
comparison idea a simple one could be built using a bucket of window
comparators and AC low voltage applied through a pound of resistors to
each pin of the two parts, perhaps in two groups to generate a potential
difference between some pins. Obviously a complete sequence PRNG with as
many bits as pins on the device, and with a supply 1.2 V larger than the
device's test voltage is better. Each window comparator would compare a
reference and a DUT pin and light a LED if they were different.

This works for any 'black box' device, but it is necessary to keep the
black boxes in sync if they are FSMs (like microprocessors) and I think
that it cannot be used for nondeterministic black boxes, like random
number generators, noise source, etc.

Peter

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