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Using RAMCHECK DDR Pro Setup Options to Determine Speed
The test parameters we use in the default automatic setup provide some margins in speed, voltage and CL setup selections. Generally speaking, the DUT margin of operation decreases as we increase the frequency, reduces the voltage (within the allowed range), and decreasing the CL setup. For example, a 400MHz module that runs fine at CL=3 and Vdd at 2.6V may fail if you reduce the voltage to 2.4V or set it at CL=2.
Advanced users have the option to disable the RAMCHECK Plus Pro's default or auto mode and set some of these parameters manually in case they encounter a DUT with a blank or missing SPD. This will force the RAMCHECK Plus Pro to test the DUT at a pre-defined frequency or test the DUT under tighter conditions to determine the quality or tolerance of the DUT.
There are two ways to accomplish this. The "Change on the Fly" method, which you can activate anytime during the Basic Test and will only affect the current DUT that you are testing, or the "Setup" method which will permanently save your changes and affect every DUT you test even if you turn the unit off and then on again. The RAMCHECK Plus Pro will notify you each time you turn the unit on that the setup has been changed from its default mode. You can always reset the unit back to default by pressing F2 then F5 while in standby mode.
The "Change on the Fly" Method
The "Change on the Fly" menu is activated anytime during the Basic Test by pressing F2. The test will stop and the following menu will appear:
Pressing F1 for "Frequency" will activate the Speed Override Menu shown below which will override the Default/Auto mode and test the DUT at the selected frequency through all three test phases (Basic, Extensive and Auto Loop).
Pressing F2/F5 will step you through the frequencies and pressing F1 will restart the test at the selected frequency. You will notice an @ sign in front of the frequency in the LCD display during the test, which shows that the frequency was changed by the user as shown in the example below. Frequency ranges you can override include 200, 233, 266, 300, 333, 360, 400, 433 and 466 MHz.
The "Change on the Fly" Menu allows you to change the CAS Latency used by the RAMCHECK PLUS Pro during the test by pressing F4 for "CL SETUP". The menu displayed below shows the default setup which allows the test program to select CL=3 or CL=2 for the first array test (based on module's speed) and CL=2.5 during the second array test.
Pressing F2/F5 will step through the different CAS Latency options listed below and pressing F1 will restart the test at the selected option.
The "Change on the Fly" Menu allows you to change the Voltage Setup used by the RAMCHECK PLUS Pro during the test by pressing F2 for "VOLTAGE". The following menu will appear as shown in the screen dump below which shows the default setup which will automatically test the DUT at 2.5/2.7 volts.
Pressing F2/F5 will allow you to change the voltage from 2.2 to 3.0 volts and pressing F1 will restart the test at the selected voltage.
The "SETUP" Method
The "SETUP" Method is activated by pressing F2 while the RAMCHECK Plus Pro is in standby mode. The following menu will appear:
Next Press F1 for "SETUP PARAMETERS". The following screen will be displayed:
To change the Frequency, press F1 for "TIMING", then F1 for "SPEED", then F1 for "SETUP FREQUENCY". To change the CAS Latency, go back to the "SETUP PARAMETERS #1" screen by pressing the ESC key. Next, press F5 for NEXT MENU until you are at "SETUP PARAMETERS #3" and press F1 for "CL SETUP" and then F1 for "DDR1 CL SETUP".
To change the voltage go back to the "SETUP PARAMETERS #1" screen and press F3 for Voltage, then F2 for DDR1.
Please note that any changes you make using the "SETUP" method will be permanent until you reset the unit, unlike the "Change on the Fly" method where the changes only affect the current test. Once you press the ESC key or the RAMCHECK Plus Pro detects an error it will automatically reset to default.
As powerful as these features are to help you determine the range of the DUT that has a blank or missing SPD, the only way to determine the true speed of a DUT is by using certifying test equipment. Programmed by engineers and based on the internal topography of the memory device to be tested, these machines utilize a heat oven to heat the device to its maximum temperature rating during the test. These certifying testers are very expensive, costing upwards of $500,000, and only used by the major memory manufacturers to determine the speed along with other timing parameters that they program into the SPD chip.
Obviously our testers are not sold as certifying equipment and we cannot compare our low-cost testers with the certifying memory testers that cost $500,000 or above. However using the features described above you can note the speed stamp of the DUT and manually set the frequency on the RAMCHECK to test the quality and tolerance of the module along with the CL and Voltage setup. For more detailed information on the operation of the DDR Pro adapter please click here to read our RAMCHECK DDR Pro adapter manual addendum.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include your phone and fax numbers.
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