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This may be silly to ask. Consider the internal circuit board of any electronic device (cell phone, for example) driven by a micro-controller, also on the same board. I'm about to write a firmware that will have features to test various peripherals and other things on the board (IO pins, EEPROM, LCD etc).

Is there any common name used for such firmware?

For example, a bootloader is a kind of firmware that allow the code memory to be written during run time.


It will not be self test. External commands will be given to the micro and the micro will execute them. Each command will test a specific feature.

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4 Answers 4

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On LEON processor, the hardware dedicated to that is named debug support unit (abbreviated as DSU).

A more common name for a piece of software accepting commands is monitor (for simple commands) or shell (for something more elaborate like on VxWorks).

In the GDB ecosystem, this is called gdbserver. This is a server program running on the product board that can receive commands from the client debugger running on a host computer connected to the board.

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Shell: i like that. i can't use monitor as it is used to describe some other functionality in the product line. thanks. – Donotalo Apr 19 '12 at 7:59

Built In Self Test (BIST).....

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Close. But it will not be self test. External commands will be given to the micro and the micro will execute them. Sorry I forgot to mention this point. – Donotalo Apr 19 '12 at 7:17
Can you specify what you mean by "external commands"? If the processor on the DUT (device under test) is running executables to exercise the sub-systems on the device, that is a "self-test" regardless of if the binary containing the executables came from outside the system (eg in a tftp server) or if it came from ROM on the device or if it came from ROM and uses externally provided arguments. – Angelo Apr 19 '12 at 17:57

on some embedded systems you have the JTAG port to test, it haves its own software

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the firmware will not be testing micro. it will test a circuit board where the micro is plugged in. consider the circuit board of a cell phone. – Donotalo Apr 19 '12 at 7:19

What you're talking about is commonly called "diag test" in the ATE (automated test engineering) world.

In telecom systems, for example, the products often have special command shells which are used to execute "diag tests" during steps in manufacturing. The output of these tests provide verification that sub-systems or components are working as expected. These tests (or a subset of them) may also be executing during POST.

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diag test. good to learn new terms. thanks. :) – Donotalo Apr 19 '12 at 16:45

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