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This paper describes the working principle and an implementation of a low-cost tester architecture supporting volume test and diagnosis of built-in self-test (BIST)-assisted embedded memory cores. The described tester architecture autonomously executes a diagnosis-oriented test program, adapting the stimuli at run-time, based on the collected test results. In order to effectively allow the tester architecture to interact with the devices under test with an acceptable time overhead, the approach exploits a special hardware module to manage the diagnostic process. Embedded static RAMs equipped with diagnostic BISTs and IEEE 1500 wrappers were selected as case study; experimental results show the feasibility of the approach when having a field-programmable gate array available on the tester and its effectiveness in terms of diagnosis time and required tester memory with respect to traditional testers executing diagnosis procedures by means of software running on the host computer.