The missing link in PCB design analysis: electrical testability

By Mark Laing

On-demand webinar: Improving PCB testability within the design

The design process for electronic products typically includes some form of functional testing to ensure that the product will work as intended. But when a product fails the tests, reworking the design can be difficult and extremely costly. Conducting electrical testing, such as In-Circuit or Flying Probe tests, ahead of functional testing can reduce the functional test failure rate, and in doing so reduce the amount of boards that must be scrapped.

The ability to conduct these types of tests requires that the PCB layout supports electrical testing. Therefore, electrical testability should be considered early on in the design process.

This can be a challenge because, while PCB designers have various tools at hand for design for DFM, signal integrity, power integrity, and thermal analyses, they often lack the ability to conduct electrical testability analysis.

As a result, electrical testability is often at best an afterthought, considered only late in the PCB layout design process, when it may already be difficult to implement significant changes due to the potential for knock-on effects. And, at worst, it’s not considered at all – a missing vital link in the PCB design process.

Our on-demand webinar, Improving Testability for PCB Designers, takes a deep-drive into all aspects of electrical testability. Mark Laing, a business development manager at Siemens Digital Industries Software, demonstrates how to automate electrical testability analysis during the layout phase, so that the product delivered to manufacturing is more testable.

The webinar covers:

  • The different manufacturing requirements for In-Circuit Test and Flying Probe Test during electronic PCB design
  • How early implementation of testability requirements leads to higher quality levels during manufacturing
  • How to implement good testability guidelines during PCB layout design
  • How to decide between In-Circuit Test and Flying Probe Test methodologies
  • How process test methods complement the functional test requirements, for delivery of high-quality products at the appropriate cost level

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at