Title page for ETD etd-11052010-133921

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rahagude, Nikhil Prakash
Author's Email Address rahagude@vt.edu
URN etd-11052010-133921
Title Integrated Enhancement of Testability and Diagnosability for Digital Circuits
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hsiao, Michael S. Committee Chair
Ha, Dong Sam Committee Member
Schaumont, Patrick Robert Committee Member
  • Fault Coverage
  • Diagnostic Resolution
  • Weighted Average
  • Test Point Insertion
  • Design for Testability
  • Design for Diagnosability
  • Built-in Self Test
Date of Defense 2010-11-02
Availability unrestricted
While conventional test point insertions commonly used in design for testability can improve fault coverage, the test points selected may not necessarily be the best candidates to aid silicon diagnosis. In this thesis, test point insertions are conducted with the aim to detect more faults and also synergistically distinguish currently indistinguishable fault-pairs. We achieve this by identifying those points in the circuit, which are not only hard-to-test but also lie on distinguishable frontiers, as Testability-Diagnosability (TD) points. To this end, we propose a novel low-cost metric to identify such TD points. Further, we propose a new DFT + DFD architecture, which adds just one pin (to identify test/functional mode) and small additional combinational logic to the circuit under test. Our experiments indicate that the proposed architecture can distinguish 4x more previously indistinguishable fault-pairs than existing DFT architectures while maintaining similar fault coverages. Further, the experiments illustrate that quality results can be achieved with an area overhead of around 5%. Additional experiments conducted on hard-to-test circuits show an increase in fault coverage by 48% while maintaining similar diagnostic resolution.

Built-in Self Test (BIST) is a technique of adding additional blocks of hardware to the circuits to allow them to perform self-testing. This enables the circuits to test themselves thereby reducing the dependency on the expensive external automated test equipment (ATE). At the end of a test session, BIST generates a signature which is a compaction of the obtained output responses of the circuit for that session. Comparison of this signature with the reference signature categorizes the circuit as error free or buggy. While BIST provides a quick and low cost alternative to check circuit’s correctness, diagnosis in BIST environment remains poor because of the limited information present in the lossily compacted final signature. The signature does not give any information about the possible defect location in the circuit. To facilitate diagnosis, researchers have proposed the use of two additional on-chip embedded memories, response memory to store reference responses and fail memory to store failing responses. We propose a novel architecture in which only one additional memory is required. Experimental results conducted on benchmark circuits substantiate that the same fault coverage can be maintained using just 5% of the available test vectors. This reduces the size of memory required to store responses which in turn reduces area overhead. Further, by adding test points to the circuit using our proposed architecture, we can improve the diagnostic resolution by 60% with respect to external testing.

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