Product News: Software

JTAG-based Embedded Debugger diagnoses Intel® x86 systems.

Press Release Summary:

Apr 06, 2011 - ScanWorks embedded diagnostics solution implements hardware-based run control in system firmware. Once debugger has been installed, systems can be debugged remotely from anywhere and at anytime without any external JTAG emulator hardware. Firmware operates out of x86-based circuit board's service processor or Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) and may be implemented in FPGA on board. Solution can access Intel x86 processor through its debug port to diagnose system faults/failures.

Original Press Release

ASSET's New JTAG-based Embedded Debugger Diagnoses Intel x86 Systems Anywhere, Anytime

Press release date: Mar 30, 2011

Richardson, TX - A new embedded debugger from ASSET® InterTech (, the leading supplier of tools for embedded instrumentation, is the first in-system JTAG-based debugger for Intel® x86 platforms. Based on ASSET's ScanWorks platform for embedded instruments, the debugger implements hardware-based run control in system firmware. Once the debugger has been installed, systems can be debugged remotely from anywhere and at anytime with no external JTAG emulator hardware.

Referred to as the ScanWorks embedded diagnostics solution, the debugger firmware operates out of an x86-based circuit board's service processor, which is sometimes called the Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) and may be implemented in a field programmable gate array (FPGA) on the board. The ScanWorks embedded diagnostics solution is able to access the Intel x86 processor through its debug port to diagnose faults and failures in the system. Some of the typical debugger functions provided by ScanWorks embedded diagnostics include reading and writing to all x86 registers, to memory, and to I/O interfaces; setting and retrieving breakpoints; and single-stepping through code.

Because ScanWorks embedded diagnostics is deployed as intellectual property (IP) within working systems, it can perform powerful debugging routines in the lab or in the field, anywhere, anytime, and on an unlimited number of systems where it has been embedded. This functionality is invaluable for troubleshooting problems with the system's device drivers, BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), operating system kernel, and catastrophic or intermittent hardware or software failures that might cause system crashes or hangs.

"Being able to debug the root cause of intermittent system failures in the field is a critical capability for high-availability systems," said Alan Sguigna, vice president of sales and marketing for ASSET. "ScanWorks embedded diagnostics is able to identify the causes of problems that often seem impossible to debug, such as the dreaded 'blue screen' system crash or a kernel panic."

One of the early adopters of ScanWorks embedded diagnostics was Cray Inc., which is integrating it into next-generation, high-availability supercomputers to ensure a high level of system reliability.

"ASSET's ScanWorks platform provides a rich set of functionality for embedded diagnostics," said Peg Williams, senior vice president of research and development at Cray. "ScanWorks-based solutions will enable Cray's next-generation product development to maintain a focus on quality and reliability, while continuing to push the envelope in scalability. This is a real differentiator for Cray's next-generation supercomputers and we believe it will give us a competitive advantage in the marketplace."

Pricing and Availability

The ScanWorks embedded diagnostics solution is available now. Pricing is customized based upon platform and BMC configurations. In addition to solutions for new designs targeting the Intel® microarchitecture codenamed Sandy Bridge, ASSET's ScanWorks supports a number of other Intel® platforms. For more information, call 888-694-6250, fax 972-437-2826, e-mail or visit asset-intertech.

ScanWorks® - The Embedded Instrumentation Platform

ASSET, through its ScanWorks platform, is applying the experience it has gained from two decades as a leading supplier of IEEE 1149.1 boundary-scan (JTAG) test tools to the development of embedded instrumentation tools. The boundary-scan infrastructure that is embedded into chips and circuit boards is one of several technologies which can form the basis for an embedded instrumentation toolset. In recent years, ASSET has significantly enhanced ScanWorks beyond boundary-scan test with the addition of other embedded instrumentation technologies, including processor-controlled test (PCT) and tools for Intel® IBIST (Interconnect Built-In Self Test), an embedded instrumentation technology that Intel® and other companies are embedding into next-generation chips and chipsets.

About ASSET InterTech

ASSET InterTech is the leading supplier of tools for embedded instrumentation for design validation, test and debug. The ScanWorks platform provides automation, access and analysis tools in one environment. Users can quickly and easily validate and test semiconductors, circuit boards or entire systems during every phase of a product's life, including design, manufacturing/repair and field maintenance. ASSET InterTech is located at 2201 North Central Expressway, Suite 105, Richardson, TX 75080.

TRADEMARKS: ASSET, the ASSET logo and ScanWorks are registered trademarks of ASSET InterTech, Inc.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Bob Greenfield, G&A PR 972/254-2887 Alan Sguigna, ASSET 972/664-3105