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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Tester FAQs

SP3000 General Information

Q. What do I need to test 72pin DRAM SIMM and 168pin SDRAM DIMM ?

A. The SP3000 tester has a universal base test engine. With the correct test adapter, you can configure it to test both DRAM and SDRAM memory.
The Combo Tester option includes a base tester and two test adapters. The DRAM test adapter test 72pin SIMM and 168 pin DRAM DIMM. It is capable of testing JEDEC standard 72pin EDO and Fast Page & 168pin EDO & FPM DIMM module. The SDRAM test adapter test JEDEC standard 168pin SDRAM PC133 PC100 PC66 unbuffered and RegisteredSDRAM DIMM memory modules at real frequency. Optioinal 30pin SIMM and 144pin SDRAM SODIMM for laptop can be added too.

Q. What is the test coverage for SP3000 ?

A. The SP3000 tester has user selectable test option. For Basic Test, it checks for assembly open and shorts on the module using the Walk address and Walk data test patterns. For detail comprehensive testing, the tester has additional user definable patterns such as Marching, Checkerboard , Preheat, Burst, Voltage Bounce tests to check for dram cell and operations related faults.

Q. What are the test features of the SP3000 tester ?

A. For DRAM module testing
Walk Address Test - checks for open/short on address pins and bad address decoder.
Walk Data Test - checks for open/short data bits
Marching & Checkerboard Test checks for bad cells, decoder interaction problem.
Pre-heat Test checks for reliability during chip warming up.
Voltage bouncing test checks for modules with noise related problem
Loop Test to simulate module burn-in situation
For SDRAM Testing:
Has similar test as above and includes the followings :
Burst Test – checks for faulty chip that fail to read&write during consecutive clock cycles.
Chip Select Test – checks for assembly shorts and open on the CS pins
DQM Test – checks for SDRAM chip input and output masking ability
WP Test – check for module that is PC-100/PC133 Intel compliance.

Q. How accurate is the SP3000 tester ?

A. The tester detects almost all faults associated with memory module. The tester has an access time (Speed) resolution of 1 nanosecond and It is the tester used by majority of SIMM Module memory manufacturers and Service Depot.

Q. How fast can memory module be tested with the SP3000 ?

A. The SP3000 is able to test a 32MB – 168pin DRAM DIMM module in 2 seconds for quick test (open and short test).A comprehensive detail test (open/short, marching test ) will take under 10 sec to complete . This is the fastest tester compared to other testers that will take 25 sec. The SDRAM-133Mhz test adapter can perform a detailed test on a 32Mb PC100 SDRAM DIMM module in less than 8 sec flat as compared to other tester that will take more than 20sec.

Q. Can the SP3000 automatically identity any module ?

A. With the correct test adapter attached to the base unit, you will be able to detect an entire array of memory module for size, number of data bits, access time (speed) etc. There's no guess work on your part. The SP3000 will Automatically-Identify all JEDEC standard module, for size/capacity, device configuration, access time (speed), parity / non parity/ ECC /3.3V/5.0V voltages and more.

Q. Can it test PC133 modules ?

A. Yes, with the SDRAM 133mhz test adapter, it has user selectable frequency option from 66mhz - 133mhz to test PC133 PC100, PC66 SDRAM DIMM module. If you do not know the frequency, do not worry! The tester can automatically detects the frequency for you too!

Q. How is the SP3000 compared with the Competition ?

A. The SP3000 is the most preferred tester used by many SIMM/DIMM manufacturer / OEM and Service Depot customer such as Samsung, HP, Micron, Compaq, Dell, CompUSA, Frys and more..
The SP3000 won the Reader ‘s Choice Award for Best Low Cost ATE Tester Solution in EE magazine (Evaluation Engineering) The SP3000 is very easy to upgrade with optional plug-on test adapters. Field upgradable with easy PC Control and Free Firmware download from the Internet. User friendly test menu for “non –technical user”. Compact, portable and standalone with universal switching power supply.

Q. How can I update my tester for future release?

A. For Hardware upgrade to a different memory module type testing, the tester can be easily configured by purchasing the appropriate plug-on test adapter to the base tester.
For Firmware upgrade, an optional PC Interface Kit is available which allows user to download the firmware directly into the tester at the convenience at your location.

Q. Does SP3000 require a PC connection ?

A. No, the tester is designed as a complete standalone unit and connection to PC is easily available with an optional PC Interface Kit & software. The PC will provide enhanced display of results & allow on-line firmware upgrade for future revision change

Q. Can the SP3000 print test results ?

A. Yes , the SP3000 has a printer port located at the rear of the tester, it can be connected to any printer directly with a printer cable. The fail results will be printed out upon enabling the print function.
Sample printout
SP3000 SDRAM Version 1xx
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Module : SD 2Mx64-8ns 2Kref# 1B (2) 3.3V
Addr. ( row x col.) : 11 x 9
Data (bank x bit) : 1 x 64 (2)
Test Pattern : w_addr, w_data, march, chk_bd
Loop # : 1
## FAIL : Walk Data - Loop 1 ##
Bank 1 : 1- 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19,
21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31-3

Q. Can the SP3000 Read/ Write the SPD EEProm on the module?

A. Yes , with the SDRAM Test adapter , it is capable of reading ,editing and programming the SPD EEPROM on the memory module.

Q. Canthe SP3000 test Notebook module ?

A. Yes, the SP3000 is capable of testing Notebook memory modules. Two Version of the notebook adapter are available, one on the DRAM SODIMM and another for SDRAM SODIMM.
For DRAM 72 pin SODIMM and 144 pin SODIMM module, user will require the SP3-72/144 pin SODIMM DRAM adapter. For SDRAM 144pin SODIMM, user will require the SP3-144/168 pin SDRAM adapter. For PCMCIA Dram card module, user will require the SP3-PCMCIA Card Adapter.

Q. Can it test DRAM chips ?

A. Yes , the SP3000 is capable of testing DRAM chips and SDRAM chips
For DRAM chip testing, user will require the SP3-SOJ DRAM adapter.
For SDRAM chip, user will require the SP3-TSOP SDRAM chip adapter.

Q. Can the Sp3000 support testing DDR memory ?

A. Yes - CST is currently developing an optional DDR adapter which can be pop onto the Sp3000 base tester to support testing the PC2100 and PC1600 184pin DDR DIMM module.

Q. Can the Sp3000 support testing Rambus RIMM ?

A. No- the Sp3000 will not be capable of supporting Rambus RIMM module.

Currently - RIMM can be supported on the Eureka 1st Pass tester.

RIMM will be supported by the upcoming CST 's Apollo Memory tester.

Q. Will the SP3000-DDR adapter be capable of testing 168pin DIMM ?

A. No the 184pin DDR adapter will not be able to test 168pin SDRAM DIMM , since the DDR test socket will not fit the 168pin SDRAM.


SP3000 Technical Information

Q. I having problem testing DIMM module on the SP3000 tester ?

A. The first question – we may ask , what type of DIMM are you testing ? SDRAM DIMM or DRAM DIMM?
To test PC66 PC100 PC133 (SDRAM) DIMM – you need to use the SDRAM Adapter with the base tester to correctly identify and test the modules.
To test EDO or Page Mode (DRAM) DIMM – you need to use the DRAM adapter to correctly identify and test the modules.

Q. How can I tell the difference between SDRAM & DRAM ?

A. You can identify a SDRAM module by the chips marking , typically : PC133 SDRAM chips are marked with a number 7.5 at the end of the part number.The number identify the chip as a 8ns which is the speed or access time.
PC100 SDRAM chips are marked with a number “8” at the end of the part number.
PC66 SDRAM chips are marked “10 ,12” or 10ns & 12ns.
Most SDRAM DRAM Chip package are TSOP package which are very thin and flat.
For DRAM chip– look for a ”60” or “70” numbering mark on the chip- it denotes the access time or speed of 60ns or 70ns respectively. The chip packaging for DRAM are much thicker in height compared with the SDRAM chip

Q. The SP3000-133Mhz adapter does not Identify or test my SDRAM modules?

A. A fully functional SP3000 tester with the correct test adapter will Auto-Id all JEDEC standard module for size/capacity, device configuration, access time (speed), parity / non parity/ ECC and voltages. Check all connection point for firm connection - Device Under Test (DUT) and Test Socket, Test Adapter and Tester.
CALIBRATION : For SDRAM User, refer to Appendix B of the SP3000 operation manual for a simple one step SDRAM CALIBRATION PROCEDURE. This calibration is required every time the SDRAM Test Adapter is inserted to a different SP3000 Base Tester for the first time

Q. The SP3000 tester fails my memory modules?

A. If the SP3000 fail the test, check and view the result message. Typical failure messaage associated failure are as follows :


Walk Address Failure - checks and detect open/short on address pins and bad address decoder.

Walk Data Failure - checks and detect open/short on data bits

Marching Failure – checks and detect bad cells and decoder interaction problem

Checkerboard Failure – checks and detect for bad cells, decoder interaction problem.

Pre-heat Test Failure– checks and detects reliability during chip warming –up.

Voltage bouncing test – check and detect modules with noise related problem

Loop Test Failure– to simulate module burn-in situation



For SDRAM Testing:

Walk address failure - check and detect for open/short on address pins and bad address decoder.

Walk data failure test - check and detect for open/short data bits

Marching failure - check and detect for bad cells, decoder interaction problem

Checkerboard failure - check and detect for bad cells, decoder interaction problem.

Burst test failure - checks for faulty chip that fail to read and write during consecutive clock cycles.

Chip select test - checks for assembly shorts and open on the CS pins

DQM failure test - checks for shorts and open on the SDRAM chip input and output masking ability

WP fail test - check for module that is PC-100 Intel compliance.


If your module is a known good module that works on the computer- but fail on the SP3000, it might be caused by a worn out test socket , or defective test adapter. Contact CST for an RMA number if you have tried all the above.

Q. Sometimes my module is identified as 64ns when the marking on the chip indicates 60ns ?

A. Occasionally you might chance upon certain modules that the tester identify as eg 64ns instead of 60ns, this can be caused by several factors: Signal degradation due to the chip loading effect on the SIMM or DIMM module, the result only happen to one or two types of module, typically with a sizable amount of chips mounted on board. If the timing is consistently high irregardless of type of module, then contact CST for RMA number to have your tester checked out.

Q. While testing my SDRAM module, tester indicates failed SPD test.

A. If the [SPD data and address test] is selected in the test pattern, the tester will perform a SPD read / write verify comparison after completing functional test.

If the original SPD data saved and stored in the tester buffer does not match the programmed SPD on the memory module, then– the tester will fail “ SPD Data Test”.

Certain SDRAM DIMM modules are assembled with preprogrammed SPD EEPROM which are software write protected, you will not be able to reprogrammed this type of EEPROM again. Check with your supplier if you are not sure.

Solder shorts on the SPD pins could also result in “Fail SPD Address Test”, perform a visual inspection on the SPD EEPROM leads.

A defective EEPROM which is incapable of data retention and will also fail “SPD data test” . Try rewriting the SPD several times and it still fail- replace a new SPD EEPROM chip.

Q. LCD display screen display a solid bar, what shall I do ?

A. One possible cause – could be caused by a corrupted firmware on the base tester or on the test adapter. Contact CST for a RMA number to replace the firmware.

Q. The Test button does not work anymore ?

A. The push button switch is defective due to prolong usage- replacement is the only solution. Contact CST for a RMA replacement

Q. Where can I obtain the latest firmware to update my SP3000 tester / test adapter?

A. Please log onto www.simmtester.com >products> SP3000> software support page for the latest software update. click here for SP3000 software support

Q. Where can I get help on Memory module data specification and spd information

A. Please log onto www.simmtester.com >memory ? > techdata > for a list of technical data support page of existing standard modules data sheet and spd information click here Memory Module Tech Data support page

Handler General Information

Q. I need more information on RoboFlex Automatic Handler ?

A. The RoboFlex Handler overview


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The RoboFlex Advanced Automatic Handler is a mechanical handler dedicated to DIMM/RIMM & SIMM Module testing. When interfaced with CST Apollo Tester , Eureka Advanced Memory Tester or SP3000 tester, RoboFlex handler provides Memory Module manufactures a cost effective method of automatically testing the memory modules in a fast, reliable and safe manner.



Input Tray

~~~~~~~

Untested memory are bulk loaded into a multiple module input tray with the parts stack horizontally. The parts are placed then placed in the input tray, they are dispensed onto a “Pusher System” one at a time and are then transfer horizontally to the tester mounted at the rear of the Handler for testing.



Test Site

~~~~~~~

Upon parts being dropped into the “Pusher System” , the part is sensed by the test site sensor and the “Pusher System” cylinder will actuate and make contact with the tester manual test socket. the part makes electrical contact and is sandwich between the socket contacts and a test start signal is sent to the tester to initiate testing.



Pass and Fail Sorting

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Upon receiving a test sort (PASS or FAIL) signal fom the tester, the “Pusher System” will drop the module on to the belt system , which will rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise to the output slide and dropped into either a “pass” or “fail” bin. The infinite vertical test plane allows the Memory Tester test heads to be directly connected to the contactor eliminating the need for long cable which can cause test degradations.



No Test contactor are needed

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The RoboFlex Handler operates without any need for contactors or rail adjustment to accommodate modules with parts on only one side and also modules with parts mounted on both sides. Standard “Pusher System” unit is made to host the 168pin JEDEC DIMM modules of size up to 5.25 inch X 1.7 inches.



Modular Pusher System

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4 optional Modular “Pusher System” are available to accommodate the 168pin DIMM, 184pin RIMM modules, 184pin DDR Modules and 144pin SODIMM modules. Standard unit comes with input trays fits 5.25 x 1.00 inch modules and also 5.25 x 1.25 inch modules. Other non-standard sized DIMM “Modular Pusher System “will be customized at a nominal cost.



Singulator

~~~~~~~~

The Universal Singulator for the RoboFlex Handler allows the input tray to gently guide the module down towards the “Pusher System” one at a time and eliminated any possible scratching. It also overcomes the problem of uneven size components/parts on the module as it do not slide good on top of each other. This singulator is designed to accommodate parts from 3.5 to 5.6 inches in length and 0.5 to 1.70 inches in height. Change over of different plungers to support modules is made simple by a sliding mechanism held in place by 2 screws on each side of the singulator. Special plunger design allows it to accommodate different SPD EEPROM placement, without changing any plunger or part.





Output Parity

~~~~~~~~~

The output parity and assurance system for the RoboFlex Handler is an additional safety feature to enhance the performance of the handler system. There will be no accidental allowance of the "bad" modules dropping into the "good" bin. The newly invented assurance system checks the tester Pass or Fail signal , initiates the belt system to rotate counter-clockwise and bin out the "bad" module from going into the left bin and a clockwise rotation will bin out the module as “Good” into the right bin. At the same time, it sounds an alarm to get the attention of the operator, if there is any incidents of jam. This allows the handler to achieve close to 100% sort accuracy.

Q. How many memory modules can the Handler test a day ?

A. The time taken to test and handler one module is dependent on Size of Memory tested, Memory Tester type used and the actual mechanical handling time.

When using the Handler with Eureka SDRAM 3, a full cell comprehensive test for 32MB SDRAM module takes 8 seconds , add 4 seconds for mechanical handling therefore the total time for testing a 32 MB DIMM including tester handling is approximately 12 seconds.

The handler is capable of dropping a module in the pusher system in less than one second – after testing the “pusher system” will drop the tested module on to the belt and bin out the module take 2-3 seconds on either direction. Therefore a single module - full cycle handling without testing would be approximately 4-5 seconds.

One hour non-stop the handler would be capable of handling approximately 720 modules , an 8 hour shift will be able to handle 5760 modules.

Q. Can I use it to test PC-100 or PC-133 Mhz DIMM modules?

A. Yes, you need to dock an Sp3000, or Eureka SDRAM2 or SDRAM3 Platform and Adapter to the handler to test PC100 & PC133 modules without a of change of the “Pusher System” as long the dimension of the modules is not greater than 5.25” in length.

Test a 66Mhz SDRAM DIMM module with this adapter, as the frequency on the tester is selectable.

You require a change of the Modular Pusher System for handling 72pin SIMM modules.

Q. Can I upgrade this handler to test RAMBUS - RIMM modules and DDR DIMM ?

A. Definitely ! We have worked hard to designed this extremely affordable RoboFlex handling system to be universal.

The 168pin Pusher System will support both 184pin DDR DIMM and 184pin RIMM without any need for change over.

Q. How is the RoboFlex compared with the competition?

A. CST Tester is the most preferred tester used by major SIMM/DIMM manufacturer / OEM customer such as HP, Compaq, Digital, Dell, Micron and many more.

The RoboFlex Handler System is the only handler starting at under $10,000 able to accommodate testing RAMBUS, DDR and SDRAM Module without using expensive Pick and Place concept and contactor pins!

Q. Does it requires a PC connection?

A. Connection to PC is dependent of Tester type. If used with SP3000 tester, PC connection is optional If used with Eureka Tester, PC connection is required as the tester is PC controlled.

Q. How can I upgrade my Handler for future new module release?

A. You can upgrade the tester without changing base handler, all is required is the appropriate test platforms and adapters which is plugable to the base tester and the modular pusher system.

Q. Can the ROBOFLEX handler Read/ Program the EEPROM (SPD) on the module?

A. Yes, with the tester Platform with Adapters docked to the Handler , it is capable of automatically reading, verifying and programming the EEPROM found on the memory module.

Q. Can it test Notebook module

A. An optional Modular Pusher System for 144pin SODIMM is available with the ROBOFlex Handler.The 144 SODIMM option is now available

Q. Can it test DRAM chips

A. No the RoboFlex handler is a dedicated Memory Module handler , it cannot be used for testing DRAM Chips.

Q. Can the Handler handle Cache & Flash Module?

A. Yes the RoboFlex handler can customised to test Cache and Flash module with a change of the Modular “Pusher System” and with the correct tester.

Q. Can the RoboFlex Handler - handle DDR DIMM module ?

A. Yes - the RoboFlex handler will support both the 168pin DIMM and 184pin DDR module using the same Pusher System.

For customer who have already owned the RoboFlex with the 168pin Pusher option -you need only to purchased CST's new DDR tester for interface to your existing handler to test DDR modules.


Handler Technical Information

Q. The SP3000 dock onto the RoboFlex does not work , a message "Waiting for Handler Start" appears on the SP3000 LCD screen, what shall I do ?

A. Base on your description - it appears the Handler Cable between the SP3000 and the Handler is not connected properly. One end of the Handler cable connects to the SP3000 printer port and the other end connects up to the Handler Interface found on the front control panel.

Q. Help - I'm having problem Auto-Identifying SDRAM modules using the RoboFlex Handler, the SP3000 display "Cannot Identify Device",

A. Do Check to make sure the module is making firm contact with the SP3000 tester socket, you can do it by looking into the pusher system.Ensure all screw and mounting brackets are firmly secured.

If you are using the SP3000 for the first time - you need to perform a one time calibration on the tester. To do that - you need to press both the red and the white button to activate the calibration mode.The details on how to calibrate can be found in the SP3000 user manual.

The final check is to ensure you are using the correct adapter to test the module, there were several occassion where customers trys to ID and test 168pin EDO DRAM module using the SDRAM adapter.

Call CST Tech Support if you still cannot ID the module and test it.

Ez-SPD General Information

Q. What is the EZ SPD Programmer ?

A. This is an SPD programmer for programming the Eeprom found on the memory module. The programmer is used for memory module with Eeprom already mounted on board. The EEprom or SPD Chip or E2prom is the IC that is found on the right corner of a typical DIMM or SODIMM module.
Note: THIS IS A PROGRAMMER NOT A TESTER

Q. Can EZ SPD identify the type of Module?

A. Yes, it identify the module by reading the data off from the SPD information that is already written and stored into the Eeprom. Therefore the information displayed may be right or wrong depending on the original data that was written in.
This defer from the Eureka or SP3000 memory tester which identify the module by detecting the actual memory configuration of the module and chips used.

Q. How can I benefit from this EZ SPD Programmer ?

A. If you have a large number of memory modules to reprogram and do not want to tie-up the Eureka or SP3000 memory tester for the job, then the EZ SPD Programmer is a low-cost, fast option to program the SPD information. As a system integrator or component distributor, it comes in as a very handy equipment to tell you whether the information stored in the Memory module is correct or wrong and whether it is the cause of the RMA returns.

Q. What does the EZ SPD programmer do ?

A. It is a very fast and cost effective option to
* program SPD information
* correct the SPD content to be compatible the computer system
* captures and the SPD codes into your PC for quick easy reference
* extract the SPD codes for editing and comparison

Q. What hardware and software do I need to use the EZ Spd ?

A. A PC system with a an available parallel port (printer port) and windows program. The EZ SPD progrommer is shipped with a parallel cable and installation software. All is required is to connect the cable and EZ SPD programmer to the PC , install sofware and you are ready to start programming. Easy to use on-line help menu is available for each function.

Q. How many type of EZ programmer are there ?

A. There are 3 category of EZ SPD programmer .

* EZ DDR SPD Programmer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

for programming spd chip found on PC1600 & PC2100 DDR DIMM Module . This version comes with one heavy duty 184pin socket

* EZ RIMM SPD Programmer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

for programming spd chip found on RAMBUS RDRAM RIMM Module . This version comes with one heavy duty 184pin socket

EZ SPD Programmer For Standard DIMM/SODIMM Module

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EZ SPD Pro comes with both heavy duty sockets for high volume use

EZ SPD Standard comes with both standard sockets for regular use

Both these versions has 2 sockets, one for 144pin SODIMM and one for 168pin DIMM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Q. What is the difference between the EZ DIMM Pro and EZ DIMM Standard Programmer ?

A. Both version of EZ DIMM SPD Programmer comes with 2 socket, 168 pin DIMM and 144 pin SODIMM. The PRO version comes with heavy duty sockets similar to those used on heavy duty testing while the standard version comes with standard motherboard type of sockets. We recommend the PRO version for all manufacturers.


Ez-SPD Technical Information

Q. How do I install the EZ programmer ?

A. The EZ programmer comes with standard parallel cable and software. Connect the cable to available printer port and install the provided software and you are all set to program.

Q. I am not able to get any response from the EZ programmer

A. The EZ programmer is powered by the Computer through the parallel port (printer card) . Please check and ensure that that part of the system is working trying out a test page. If all attempt fails, contact CSTfor support.

Q. Where can I obtain the latest software ?

A. Please log onto www.simmtester.com >products> ezspd > software support page for the latest software update. click here for EZ SPD software support

Q. I do not know what SPD information should be in my module. Where can I find a list of SPD code that works on motherboard ?

A. Please log onto www.simmtester.com >memory ? > techdata > for a list of technical data support page of existing standard modules data sheet and spd information click here Memory Module Tech Data support page

Eureka General Information

Q. Can you tell me more above the Eureka Memory Tester ?

A. The Eureka is an all-in-one universal memory tester capable of testing SDRAM, DRAM, SRAM, ARAM, Cache and Flash memories with optional test accessories.

Equipped with “High speed test technology” combine with analog pin drivers for voltage changes and a waveform editor for timing parameters adjustment. It provides a leakage test option to detect chips with current leakage problem.

It also has special SIMM Draw Editor, which provides pictorial module layout to pin-point the bad chips, which makes the troubleshooting and diagnosis work a lot easier.

Many other functions such as preheating, test looping, ICC measurement and testing, voltage bouncing and more are available Test memory coverage up to 4 GIGA word and is equipped with 40 bit width data I/O with an option to upgrade to 160 bits. All in all, the Eureka provides close to ATE performance at an affordable price.

The Eureka Tester can be attached to an optional DM718 Automatic Handler and labeler to provide a total hands-free, automated mass production test solution.

A few of the latest adapters built to work with the Eureka are as follows:

SDRAM3 PLATFORM
– is used for testing all SDRAM Modules. This newly designed 80 bit platform is used to test Synchronous DRAM modules. This SDRAM platform memory module testing is capable of providing precision synchronous clocking, burst mode exercising, interleaving and latency testing , the frequency range is 66Mhz , 100Mhz & 133Mhz . Currently, the available adapters to work with this SDRAM platform are adapters for 168pin / 144pin, unbuffered JEDEC SDRAM module. Other Non Jedec adapters such as 100 pin, 200 pin, 244 pin and 278 pin adapters are also available on the 100mhz platform.


160BIT PLATFORM
– is used for testing EDO/PAGE MODE DRAM Modules. This is a platform to multiplex the 40 data bits to 160 bits in order to test modules with 64 bits, 72 bits, 80 bits and 144bits and etc. The adapters that work with this platform are the 168 pin DIMM with JEDEC, Apple and SPARC 5 standards, Toshiba 410/610 series, IBM 760 series, SPARC 10/20, JEDEC 144pin SODIMM and etc.

CACHE ADAPTERS

– is used to Test Cache Memory Modules

CST’s cache platform supports the level 2 cache modules for both asynchronous and pipeline burst modes. Its dual voltage generator allows simultaneous testing of both 3.3V cache RAM and 5.0V Tag Ram. There are a few different standards of cache modules depending on the system boards chip sets used. Currently, CST’s has 4 different kinds of adapters to support these various cache modules. EK-Cache1 is for testing modules used with Intel’s Triton and SIS/OPTI chip set. EK-Cache2 adapter is for testing modules used with Intel’s Neptune chip set. EK-Cache3 adapter is for testing the modules used in the Apple Power PC. While EK-Cache4 is for testing the modules used in the DEC computer.




Q. What accessories do I need to test 168 pin DRAM DIMM and 168pin SDRAM DIMM?

A. To test the 168 pin DRAM DIMM-EDO, you need the Eureka universal base tester it comes with an optional 160 bit platform and adapter. It is capable to test most 168 pin, 144 pin , 72pin EDO and Page mode DIMM module with a change of adapter.
You cannot test SDRAM DIMM using this adapter. For testing 168pin SDRAM DIMM module, you will require an optional SDRAM2 Platform and adapter. This adapter is capable of testing both the 66Mhz &100Mhz SDRAM DIMM modules at real frequency. 160 bit DRAM Platform adapter and platform is not capable for testing SDRAM DIMM. The Eureka checks for assembly open and shorts on the module using the “ Walk address” and “Walk data” test pattern.
For more detail testing coverage , the Eureka has “Marching & Checkerboard” test to check for dram cell related faults.
The Eureka can also Auto-Identify most JEDEC standard module, size/capacity, device configuration, access time (speed), parity / non parity/ ECC and voltages.

Q. What are the test coverage for Eureka Tester ?

A. * The Eureka detect assembly open and shorts on the module using the “ Walk address” and “Walk data” test pattern.
* For more comprehensive detail test coverage , the Eureka has “Marching & Checkerboard” test to check for dram cell related faults.
* The Eureka also Auto-Identify JEDEC standard module for size/capacity, device configuration, access time (speed), parity / non parity/ ECC and voltages.

Q. What are the features of the tester?

A. For DRAM module testing , the Eureka is equipped with the following test features:

* Walk Address Test - checks for open/short on address pins and bad address decoder.

* Walk Data Test - checks for open/short data bits

* Marching & Checkerboard Test – checks for bad cells, decoder interaction problem.

* Pre-heat Test – checks for reliability during chip warming –up.

* Voltage bouncing test – checks for modules with noise related problem

* Loop Test – to simulate module burn-in situation

* Leakage Test – to check for assembly shorts and memory cell faults



For SDRAM Testing:

* Walk Address Test - checks for open/short on address pins and bad address decoder.

* Walk Data Test - checks for open/short data bits

* Marching & Checkerboard Test – checks for bad cells, decoder interaction problem.

* Burst Test – checks for faulty chip that fail to read and write during consecutive clock cycles.

* Chip Select Test – checks for assembly shorts and open on the CS pins

* DQM Test – checks for SDRAM chip input and output masking ability

* WP Test – check for module that is PC-100 Intel compliance.

* Leakage Test – to check for assembly shorts and memory cells faults.

Q. How accurate is the Eureka Tester in testing and fault detection ?

A. The Eureka is capable to detect 99% of memory fault.

The access time (Speed) is 1 nanosecond in resolution.

The Eureka is capable of identifying 99% of most JEDEC 72/168pin module.

It is the tester used by most memory manufacturers.

Q. How fast can the module be tested with the Eureka Tester?

A. The Eureka is able to test a 32MB – 168pin DRAM DIMM module in 2 second for quick test (open and short test).


A detail comprehensive test (open/short, marching test ) is takes under 10 sec to complete as compared to other testers that will take 25 sec.


The SDRAM-133Mhz adapter can do a detail test for a 32Mb PC-100 DIMM module in less than 8 sec flat as compared to other tester that will take more than 30sec.

Q. Can it automatically ID any module?

A. With the correct test platform and adapter, you will be able to detect the memory size, number of data bits, access time (speed), voltages

Q. Can I use it to test PC-100 & PC-133 modules?

A. * Yes, you need to use the 133Mhz – SDRAM3 Platform and adapter, this combination of platoform & adapter will test both the 100 and133Mhz SDRAM DIMM module. A SDRAM3 Platform & 133Mhz label is printed on the adapter casing cover for easy identification.

*You can still also test a 66Mhz SDRAM DIMM module with this adapter, as the frequency on the tester is user selectable from the software.

Q. How is the Eureka compared with the competition ?

A. The Eureka is the most preferred tester used by many SIMM/DIMM manufacturer / OEM customer such as HP, Micron, Digital and many more.

For product feature – the Eureka is very easy to upgrade by exchanging different test platform and adapters.

Latest software can be updated by PC-Download from the Internet.

User friendly test menu for “non –technical user”.

Continuous technical support for all CST product installed in field.

Q. What do I need to operate the Eureka Tester with ?

A. The Eureka require a PC system (not included) for full operationes - it is connected to a PC by using the Eureka interface card and software included withthe Eureka Tester.

Q. Is there an option for the tester to log and print test results?

A. * Yes, the Eureka uses the PC printer port that can be connected to any printer with a printer cable.
* The fail results will be printed out upon enabling the print function.
* Software allows for management control function with ability to capture and log results.

Q. How can I update my Eureka tester for future release?

A. You can upgrade the tester without a change of the base tester, all you need to purchase is the appropriate test platforms and adapters with to the base tester.
You can download the latest software from the Internet.

Q. Does the Eureka tester Read/ Program the EEPROM (SPD) on the module?

A. The SDRAM Platform & 160 bit Dram Platform with adapters have built in programmer circuitry which are capable of reading editing and programming the EEPROM found on the memory module.

Q. Does the Eureka test Notebook module

A. Yes, the Eureka is capable of testing Notebook memory modules.


For DRAM 72 pin and 144 pin SODIMM module, you will require the EK-72/144 pin SODIMM DRAM adapter with 160 bit DRAM platform.


For SDRAM 144pin SODIMM, you will require the EK-SODIMM 144 pin SDRAM adapter with the SDRAM Platform.


For PCMCIA Dram card module, you will require the EK-PCMCIA Card Adapter with the 160 bit platform.

Q. Does the Eureka test DRAM chips

A. Yes , the Eureka is capable of testing both DRAM chips and SDRAM chips For DRAM chip testing, you will require the EK-SOJ DRAM adapter use with the 160bit DRAM Platform. For SDRAM chip, you will require the TSOP SDRAM chip adapter used with the SDRAM2 Platform.

Q. Does the Eureka Tester test 5V chips as well as 3.3V chips

A. The Eureka is capable of testing both the 3.3V and 5V DRAM chip.

Q. Does the Eureka test Cache & Flash Module

A. Yes, Flash and Cache Platform and test adapter are available on the Eureka. As there are varying standards on these modules, please contact CST for pin compatibility or customisation.

Q. Can the Eureka tester be upgraded to test Rambus modules ?

A. Yes CST presently delivering a 1st Pass RIMM Eureka tester, which will enable open / short test and parametric option only.

The Eureka RIMM tester will not be capable of testing full functional test. Please call CST at (972)-2412662 for pricing.

Q. Will the Eureka be capable of supporting the 266Mhz DDR memory ?

A. Yes - CST is currently developing a new DDR Platform with a seperate 184pin DIMM adapter. The test functions are similar to the SDRAM test functions. The Eureka DDR test solutions will be available Q4 - 2000.


Eureka Technical Information

Q. I having problem testing PC133 168pin DIMM module on the Eureka tester ?

A. If you are using SDRAM1 platform with SDRAM1 Adapter – you will face some problem testing PC100 & PC133 Modules.

The SDRAM1 was design for testing 66Mhz or PC66 SDIMM only – using this platform to test PC100 or PC133 DIMMs will yield incorrect test results.

To test PC133/PC100 SDRAM DIMM – you need to use EK-SDRAM2-Platform with EK-SDRAM2-Adapter or EK-SDRAM3-Platform with EK-SDRAM3-Adapter to correctly identify a PC133/PC100 DIMM module. The SDRAM2 Platform can be also used to test PC66 SDIMM.

To test PC133 SDRAM DIMM – you need to use the latest SDRAM3 platform and SDRAM3 Adapter to correctly identify a PC133 DIMM module. The SDRAM3 Platform can be also used to test PC100 & PC66 SDIMM.

Q. What is the difference between EK-SDRAM2 & EK-SDRAM3 Test Solution?

A. The main difference between the SDRAM3 and SDRAM2 are as follows:

SDRAM3 Test speed is 2X faster than SDRAM2, it is able to perform a comprehensive full test for 32Mb SDRAM in under 8 sec

SDRAM3 is a self calibrating platform using DLL technology

SDRAM3 is capable of detecting and testing PC133 DIMM

SDRAM3 test full 80bits in parallel.

SDRAM2 requires an analog calibration- by adjusting a delay line.

Q. The SDRAM3 Test Hardware does not Identify or test my SDRAM modules?

A. A fully functional SDRAM3 will Auto-Identify most JEDEC standard module, size/capacity, device configuration, access time (speed), parity / non parity/ ECC and voltages.

Check all test connector for firm connection.

If you are not able to continue testing– you need to perform a one time calibration for the tester.

To perform the CALIBRATION, please refer to the SDRAM3 User Manual -Page 12 for the CALIBRATION PROCEDURE. This step need only be carried out once.

After calibration – if the tester is still not able to identify or test several different known good SDRAM DIMM – you need to contact CST for a RMA number and to send back the tester for repair.

Q. How do I interpret the failure message that is shown on software for the module that I am testing?

A. For DRAM module testing , if the Eureka fail the following test :

Walk Address Failure - checks and detect open/short on address pins and bad address decoder.

Walk Data Failure - checks and detect open/short on data bits

Marching Failure – checks and detect bad cells and decoder interaction problem

Checkerboard Failure – checks and detect for bad cells, decoder interaction problem.

Leakage Failure ( Optional) – checks and detect one and shorts on all control an data pins, and memory cell leaks.

Pre-heat Test Failure– checks and detects reliability during chip warming –up.

Voltage bouncing test – check and detect modules with noise related problem

Loop Test Failure– to simulate module burn-in situation

.

For SDRAM Testing:
In addition to the above patterns, the following are found only in SDRAM testing mode :
Burst test failure - checks for faulty chip that fail to read and write during consecutive clock cycles.
Chip select test - checks for assembly shorts and open on the CS pins
DQM failure test - checks for shorts and open on the SDRAM chip input and output masking ability
WP fail test - check for module that is PC-100 Intel compliance.

*If your module is a known good module that works on the computer- but fail on the Eureka, it might be caused by a worn out test socket , defective test adapter, or a Calibration is due.

Contact CST for an RMA number if you have tried all the above.

Q. Why does the Eureka detects my PC100 DIMM as a PC66 ?

A. Check the chip marking on the module – a PC100 DIMM should have a “8” marking an the access time should be identify as 8ns not 10 or 12ns by the tester.

If you select the 100Mhz frequency – and preset the access time to 8ns and a DIMM module fail walk address/data , the module is not a PC100 compliance module. It could be a PC66 DIMM module.

If you select the 66 Mhz frequency – and preset the access time to 8ns and a DIMM module fail – walk address/data , the module speed should be set to 10 or 12ns to correctly test the module at 66Mhz.

Q. Why does the Eureka identify my DRAM module as 66ns when the marking on the chip indicates 60ns ?

A. Occasionally you might chance upon certain modules that the tester identify as eg 64ns instead of 60ns, this can be caused by several factors:

Signal degradation due to the chip loading effect on the SIMM or DIMM module, the result only happen to one or two types of module, typically with a sizable amount of chips mounted on board. If the timing is consistently high irregardless of type of module, then contact CST for RMA number to have your tester checked out.

Q. While testing SDRAM , the Eureka keep failing SPD test.

A. * If the “SPD data test” is selected in the test pattern , the tester will perform a SPD read and write comparison after functional test.
* If the original SPD data store in the tester buffer does not match the programmed SPD – the tester will fail “ SPD Data Test”. Ensure the SPD write compare enable function is enable from the” SPD Edit function”.
* Certain SDRAM DIMM modules are assembled with preprogrammed SPD EEPROM which are software write protected, you will not be able to reprogrammed this type of EEPROM again. Check with your supplier if you are not sure.
* Solder shorts on the SPD pins could also result in “Fail SPD Test”, perform a visual inspection on the SPD EEPROM leads.
* A defective EEPROM which is incapable of data retention – will also fail “SPD data test” . Try rewriting the SPD several times and it still fail- replace a new SPD EEPROM chip.

Q. The Eureka prompt “Hardware Interface error” ?

A. One possible cause – could be caused by a bad connection between the base tester and the Interface card. Check both the AC power cable and the Eureka interface capable.

Check the 3A fuse at the rear of the tester.

If error message persist, you need to contact CST for an RMA number

Q. The Eureka prompt “Data I/O failure” – when performing a self test ?

A. One possible cause – could be caused by a broken fuze from any of the 3 fuse on the Timing Board and the Driver motherboard.

If you have attended CST Training workshop – you can measure the fuse by using a ohmmeter. ( Caution only trained personnel are authorized to remove the casing for further troubleshooting).

Otherwise, please contact CST for an RMA number to send the Eureka for repair.


Q. Where can I get help on Memory module data specification and spd information

A. Please log onto www.simmtester.com >memory ? > techdata > for a list of technical data support page of existing standard modules data sheet and spd information click here Memory Module Tech Data support page

Q. Where can I get help on Memory module data specification and spd information

A. Please log onto www.simmtester.com >memory ? > techdata > for a list of technical data support page of existing standard modules data sheet and spd information click here Memory Module Tech Data support page

Q. Where can I obtain the latest software updates for the Eureka and related platforms ?

A. Please log onto www.simmtester.com >products> SP3000> software support page for the latest software update. click here for SP3000 software support


DocMemory General Information

Q. What does the Diagnostic Software Test ?

A. Take note that this diagnostic software will not be able to run if the PC system does not boot-up.

Memory test patterns include sophisticated algorithms such as MATS, March B+ ,March C-, and Checkerboard…etc.

Selecting "Burnt-In Mode", will capture 95% of PC System soft memory failures. Editing the pattern and other parameter functions are made simple by using a mouse interface.

The Software Auto-Identify most JEDEC standard module, size and capacity including the type of CPU being used.

Q. Can I use DocMemory Diagnostic to check if the modules are good or bad in my PC?

A. DocMemory Diagnostic software is a general purpose memory diagnostic software which is capable of testing different type of SIMM and DIMM on any Intel based PC system (This software is not designed for used with Apple Mac System, Sun System or an proprietary system)


Q. How accurate is the DocMemory Software?

A. DocMemory is capable to detect 95% of memory fault but only if the module is capable of booting up on the PC.



Q. Can DocMemory automatically identity any module?

A. The current software V1.4 and below will only detect the memory size only ,future version will detect number of data bits, access time (speed), voltages.Do continue to check our website for the latest version.

Q. Can it test RAMBUS/RIMM modules?

A. Yes , the software is designed to detect the Rambus/RIMM memory size and test the memory too.

Q. How is DocMemory compared with Competition?

A. Most Preferred - DocMemory is the most preferred diagnostic software used by many SIMM/DIMM manufacturer / OEM customer.

CST Inc with 16 years of experience in hardware Memory Test technology, supplying memory test solution to customer such as Samsung, Hyundai, Micron.....etc.

Q. How can I update my software for future release?

A. You can upgrade the test software without a charge as long as you are a registered customer.

You can download the latest software from the Internet at www.simmtester.com anytime

Q. Can DocMemory Read the SPD EEProm on the module

A. The software version of DocMemory is presently not capable of reading editing and programming the EEPROM found on the memory module.

CST is currently developing a PC Card Version of DocMemory which will be able to read and edit SPD EEPROM. The card version is targeted to be launched in year 2000 Q1 .

Q. Can it be used to test Notebook memory module?

A. If your Notebook has a floppy drive – the software is capable of testing Notebook memory modules too.

Q. Can DocMemory Software test Cache & Flash Module ?

A. DocMemory current version of software is presently not able to be used for cache and Flash memory diagnostic.

Custom software version may be available in future for testing Cache and Flash memories-

Please if you have a custom requirement, please contact customer service at 972-241-2662 x 11


DocMemory Technical Information

Q. I have recently install a 128MB EDO memory in my PC - after Booting up the monitor screen turned Blue. DocMemory did detect a Memory failure using MATS Test Pattern. I have no clue what is wrong ?

A. Apparently base from the failure description , the EDO module is indeed faulty, the modules could have a defective memory chip, which could caused any thing to happen including :

a)System reseting after booting up
b)Application error while loading Window Operating system
c)System crashing while using any word processor or spreadsheet application.

Since it gives you a blue screen during bootup- you can no longer used this module as it would be impossible see if any software have been loaded up. You may need to purchase a brand new module from any memory reseller.

Q. Help - I have install a 64MB memory in my PC and Docmemory only detects 16 MB,I have no clue what is the fault ?

A. This is a very common Question -

Docmemory detects your Memory by reading your motherboard BIOS table.If your PC boots up with only 16 MB of memory,you will see a memory count on the Top left corner of your monitor screen, Docmemory will only read 16MB.

Make sure your PC will support higher memory and check for memory compatibility issues.

For memory upgrades please do make sure you purchase your memory from the recommended source- check your user manual for compatible brand upgrades.

I once own a Compaq presario with 16MB of SDRAM. Later -I purchase a 32 MB upgrade from a computer store and try to install the memory and it didn't work. After much frustration - I got online and purchase the original memory from Compaq directly and it work like a champ.

I found out particularly for SDRAM DIMM module - the SPD information that resides in the EEPROM found on the memory module is very crucial, the information varies for different manufacturer. If you stick a Micron 64MB DIMM into a Compaq PC - it may not work ...vice versa.

The next time you buy any upgrades -make sure you know what you are upgrading.

Q. I have downloaded Docmemory and setup a floppy disk1 but I cannot run Docmemory in Window Mode ?

A. Docmemory will not work in window mode , the correct method of using Docmemory is to insert the install diskette into your PC floppy drive. Reboot your PC from the newly created Docmemory Diskette.

Docmemory will test the PC memory in DOS Mode

Q. I cannot seems to be able to get Docmemory to boot up from my A : Drive, after resetting my PC -it always bootup from my Hard-Drive. Is there something that I'm doing wrong?

A. I believe the CMOS setting in your PC have been configure to Boot up from C : Drive always even with a diskette in the floppy drive.

Try this - during power up - press [Ctrl, Alt, Del ] , this action will allow you to access the CMOS setting. Try to change the Floppy Boot up starting with A : C : and what ever.

You should be able to reconfig your PC- without much difficulties. Check your PC user manual for instruction to get to CMOS setup table.

Q. I have downloaded your DocMemory user manual and I'm unable to read the files using Microsoft words. What is wrong ?

A. Docmemory user manual can only be read by using Adobe reader 3.0 & upwards, it is saved in pdf format. Microsoft word will not be able to read pdf file.

To download a Free copy of Adobe Reader go to www.adobe.com , once you have located the download files - you will have to sign in.

After downloading Adobe , you should be able to install and read the pdf file.

Q. DocMemory - I have downloaded V1.1 in Dec 1999, my system hangs up after I have run 77 loops in Burnt In Test Mode. What is the problem ?

A. If you experience problem during burnt-In mode , do update your Docmemory software to the latest version which is V1.4.

V1.1 did experience some compatibility issue with certain type of motherboard and chipsets and the problems have been rectified in the latest version 1.4

Q. I have recently upgraded my old PC to the new Intel i810E chipset motherboard, I have added in 128MB of SDRAM PC100 memory , but during bootup Docmemory only detects 16 MB memory when it should be 128MB. What is the problem ?

A. We have received several feedback from the field about Docmemory having some problem detecting the correct memory size in the new i810E motherboard,this situation have been resolved with DocMemory V1.4. Please do update your software version to the latest version.

Q. I have used Docmemory extensively for testing all the PC memory in my company , we have two servers which are running in Window NT with 1 GB of Memory, will it be safe for me to test the server memory with Docmemory which I know runs perfectly in Window 3.1/95 and 98 ?

A. Yes it is possible for you to use DocMemory to test your server memory. When Booting up from Docmemory thru the floppy drive - the Server will be loading DocMemory operating system into the server memory for test execution. Docmemory will not crash your server while testing the memory.

Q. How do I interpret the test result detected by DocMemory ?

A. We have added in a troubleshooting guide in our latest user manual V1.41. The details on how to interpret the test results can be found at the Docmemory software download page.The user-manual is formatted in pdf format.

You will need to download a free acrobat reader to read the file. The free download side is found at www.adobe.com.

Q. I have downloaded DocMemory into my hardisk, and try to run the docmem.exe from floppy disk under Windows. It prompt me an error "Do not run in virtual mode". What am I doing wrong?

A. Docmemory is a bootable program and it should not be run in window mode. Insert the install floppy disk into your A:Drive and reboot your system. Docmemory test your memory under DOS mode.


Q. DocMemory does not boot up from Floppy Drive ?

A. If when you insert the Diagnostic diskette in the A: drive and power on the computer, it does not load DocMemory Diagnostic, the "boot sequence" may be set to boot to the hard disc drive first.

To change the boot sequence to boot from the A: drive first, you must enter the "Setup" or "CMOS Setup" of your computer. Methods for entering the Setup or CMOS Setup vary depending on your computer's make and model, but most methods consist of pressing a key or key sequence during the initial power on boot sequence. To determine
which key or key sequence to press for your computer, watch the screen closely during boot up for a message like "Press F1 to enter Setup" or something similar. Nearly all systems will continue on automatically after a brief period of time if the key is not pressed, so act quickly. You may have only a few seconds to find and
press the appropriate key or key sequence.

The most common keys or key sequences to enter setup are:
- [DELETE]
- [F1]
- [F2]
- [CTRL]-[ALT]-[S]
- [CTRL]-[ALT]-[ESC]
- [CTRL]-[ALT]-[ENTER]

NOTE: Some computers that use the "[CTRL]-[ALT]-[___]" sequences
must be at a prompt before pressing the keys. If you are unsure about how to enter the setup, see the owner's manual for your computer or seek assistance from your computer manufacturer or the
store where you purchased the computer.

Q. Diskette Read Error or Error reading drive A :

A. If your receive an error message "DocMemory Diagnostic could not read strings from the diskette," make sure the diskette is still in the diskette drive. If the message persists, there may be an error on the diskette. Create a new DocMemory Diagnostic diskette and run the tests again.

Q. DISKETTE WRITE ERRORS:

A. DISKETTE WRITE ERRORS:

The diskette may not have enough free space to write to a report file. Normally this would only happen if the DocMemory Diagnostic has created a large number of fail report files. If this is the case, delete some of the report files or copy them to another diskette and run the tests again.
The diskette may have a bad sector which cannot be written to. Ifthis is the case, create a new DocMemory Diagnostic diskette and run the tests again.

Clock Reference General Information

Q. Where do I get this Clock Reference Board?

A. The board is designed by IBM and manufactured & sold by CST. You can purchase this board from CST, Inc. by calling sales at (972) 241-2662.

Q. Who is responsible for this Clock Reference Board?

A. Although this board was designed by IBM; Manufacturing, sales, distribution and after service support is solely responsible by CST, Inc. Call CST, Inc. at (972) 241-2662 for any concern on this product

Q. What are the features of this Clock Reference Board?

A. This Clock Reference Board covers PC100 unbuffered modules, and PC133 registered modules. It has built-in regular clock or spread-spectrum mode. It is built with controlled impedance PC board for tightest performance tolerance. It has a separate Vcc plane that can be used for voltage shmooing test. It has extensive synthesizer de-coupling to assure stability. It also has marked test point for ease of use. All boards are built as one batch against a “golden board” to ensure consistency.

Q. What about after support on this Clock Reference Board?

A. After support is provided by CST, Inc. the privately owned memory module tester company since 1983. Check us out by calling (972) 241-2662 or simply drop by our web site at www.simmtester.com.

Q. Why do I need the Clock Reference Board?

A. find out why ....

Q. What is a Clock Reference Board?

A. It is a test board consisting of clock generator and buffer 4 of the buffered signal go to the DIMM socket while other clock signal go to a reference net. Clock delay and skew can be measured at the SDRAM chips on the module and then compared against the signal at the reference net.

Q. What is a Clock Reference Board used for?

A. DIMM Manufacturers would use it to validate a memory module. The System Board Designer would use it to tune his design. A volume DIMM user wants to qualify memory modules by timing skew comparisons.

Q. Who would use a Clock Reference Board?

A. The Clock Reference Board is to be used by DIMM Manufacturers, system board designers, and volume DIMM users. Generally, anybody who has to evaluate and qualify DIMM modules.

Q. Why use a Clock Reference Board?

A. It is for module design verification. It is the supplier’s quality standard to ensure consistent performance. It is an industry reference standard. It allows the tuning of PLL feed back on the module to balance the module timing. It is also an accepted JEDEC industry standard.

Q. How is the Clock Reference Board used?

A. It is very easy to use. All you have to do is to connect an external power supply and 2 oscilloscope probes on it. You then turn it on and compare the signal time delay between the 2 signals. Depending on the skew of the clock signals, you will either tune the feedback of the PLL or change the clock loading to balance the skew.


Clock Reference Technical Information

Q. Need Technical Support for Clock Reference board?

A. Check out the details here….

Q. What is the warranty on the Clock Reference Board and how do I get service?

A. CST, Inc. provides one full year warranty on the Clock Reference Board. Warranty includes parts and labor except the DIMM socket, which considered as a consumable part. Contact (972) 241-2662 for an RMA number.

Q. Is this Clock Reference Board designed for both PC100 and PC133 modules?

A. This Clock Reference Board was designed and tested for the PC100 unbuffered module as well as for the PC133 registered modules. Due to the late release of the PC133 unbuffered DIMM specification, this design cannot guarantee its performance on PC133 unbuffered modules

Q. What about unbuffered PC133 DIMM modules?

A. Due to the late and unsettled PC133 unbuffered DIMM specification we cannot guarantee its performance on this kind of module.

Q. Does the Clock Reference Board test my module?

A. The Clock Reference Board is intended to be a standard clock timing reference standard. It is not intended nor designed as a memory DIMM tester. However, CST, Inc. does provide full line of DIMM tester that will test most any type of module on the market.

Q. Does the Clock Reference Board tell me how good my module is?

A. The Clock Reference Board tells you how accurate the clock timing is on your module. However, it does not and cannot tell you anything else besides the clock timing skew performance.

Q. What kind of equipment do I need to use with the Clock Reference Board?

A. You will need two bench power supplies to supply the two sets of 3.3Vdc and 2.5Vdc. Besides, you will also need a dual channel oscilloscope with 500Mhz or better bandwidth.

Q. What kind of Oscilloscope would you recommend?

A. The minimum oscilloscope we recommend is the Tektronix TDS744 (500Mhz). For the most optimum result, we recommend the Tektronix TDS11081C high bandwidth oscilloscope (20Ghz).

Q. Does scope probe affect the measurement?

A. All scope probes has capacitance that can affect the measurement (load down effect). Although a standard 10X probe can do the proper measurement, we do recommend you use an active scope probe that has less than 1pf capacitance loading. In any case, a probe calibration should be performed to cancel out the variation factor from one probe to the other.

Q. How do I get ride of the noise on the scope measurement?

A. The higher bandwidth of the oscilloscope and the less loading of the scope probe will minimize the noise display on the oscilloscope. That is why we recommend the TDS11081C scope and the 1pf active probe.

Q. Can I use my ATX power supply with the Clock Reference Board?

A. Although the Clock Reference Board uses a power connector very similar to the standard ATX type power supply, the required voltage is totally different from the ATX power supply. Instead, it requires 3.3Vdc and 2.5Vdc, which are not provided by the ATX power supply. Care should be taken to supply the power from bench power supplies that can be set to the 3.3V and the 2.5V.

Q. Can you recommend a power supply?

A. The power supply capacity is not a major issue. You should use any bench power supply like B&K, HP…etc. In any case, make sure it is adjusted to 3.3V and 2.5V before connecting or turning on the system

Q. What is the skew tolerance of the Clock Reference Board?

A. The Clock Reference Board was designed and simulated to be within 100ps of tolerance. Prototype verification on several boards result in variation of 40ps between boards. CST, Inc. does guarantee 100ps tolerance from board to board.

Q. What is the Spread Spectrum switch and what is it used for?

A. Spread spectrum oscillator is a technique that computer manufacturers use to minimize the EMI from the computer system. The theory is to slight modulate the clock oscillator to allow some of the oscillator energy to spread to its side bands. It is, therefore, reducing the main oscillator frequency radiation. This switch on the Clock Reference Board allows the user to also test the clock skew under the spread spectrum oscillator condition.

Q. How do I measure clock skew of my DIMM module.

A. Clock skew is measured by comparison of the waveform at the “clock reference net” and the clock signal at the clock pin of the SDRAM. This is best measured with high bandwidth oscilloscope and low capacitance probes.

Q. What is scope probe calibrations?

A. What is scope probe calibrations? Just like anything else in the world, scope probes are not made equal nor are they connected equally. Therefore, a calibration is important to remove any ambiguity among the different probes. This is done by connecting the two probes onto the same clock reference source and observe the clock skew between the two readings. This would be your scope probe correction factor. Any further measurement will subtract or add this correction factor for absolute accuracy.

Q. My module shows off specification skew. What should I do?

A. On the PC133 registered module, you can change the value of the feedback capacitor to compensate for the difference. Vary the capacitance value until the skew falls within specification (refer to user’s manual). Unfortunately, you will have to redesign those unbuffered modules by changing the length of the traces on the PCB. Lengthen the clock traces can give you more delay while reducing the length will reduce the time delay.

Q. My oscilloscope waveform is not stable. Why?

A. Although a 500Mhz is the minimum requirement in making the measurement, a higher bandwidth oscilloscope will reduce the noise seen on the scope. Low capacitance scope probe with good comment grounding point will also minimize the noise and give you a clearer picture.

Q. It doesn’t seem to be getting a waveform. What do I do now?

A. Do not panic. Check your power supply voltage with a DVM. Check all your system connections. Start with a step by step test verification procedure. Use the scope and scope probe to trace the oscillator signals on the board. Also measure the oscillator buffer for input signal and output signals. Determine if the oscillator is dead on the source chip or the buffer chip. Contact CST for help.

Q. Can my technician repair the Clock Reference Board?

A. The Clock Reference Board circuitry is very simple. However, care must be taken to ensure the integrity of the reference signal is not destroyed. All components are standard except the clock buffer chip. It is specially selected to have all seven outputs balanced to within a tight tolerance. Any replacement of this buffer chip with off-the-shelf component might result in distortion of accuracy

Q. Can I get the schematics and the material list?

A. Since IBM provided this design to be used as a public domain property benefiting the industry, the schematics, Gerber files and BOM can be obtained by writing.

Q. Can I build the Clock Reference Board in house?

A. We would not recommend that due to the control of the accuracy of the reference. All the Clock Reference Boards were built in one batch with one set of components to ensure absolute consistency.

Q. What about Unbuffered PC133 Clock Reference Board?

A. As at the moment, unbuffered PC133 specifications has not been standardized. While VIA Technology has proposed one standard to the JEDEC committee, Intel is formulating another standard. Therefore, it is better to wait till the dust settles down.

Q. What about future Clock Reference Boards?

A. CST, Inc. is committed to contribute its effort in helping the memory industry standardizing clock standards. We will be involved on any future opportunity to serve the industry in a similar capacity.

Q. Can I change the test socket?

A. The test socket is a consumable part only rated for small number of insertions. Therefore, occasional replacement is needed. However, the design is also based on the particular brand of connector used. This connector is part of the timing simulations during the design phase. Any other model of replacement connector may not result in the same timing delay. Therefore, we would recommend you contact CST factory for any replacement connectors.

CST Inc. Memory Tester DDR Tester
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