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Embedded systems are increasingly synthesized today as systems-on-a-chip (SOCs), wherein existing functional blocks (also called cores) are used to implement different functions in the system specification. Emphasis during system synthesis is usually on optimizing one or more objectives such as price, area, performance and power. Testability enhancement of the SOC solution so obtained follows as a postprocessing step to enable the application of precomputed test sequences to each embedded core and observe its responses. Unfortunately, performing test modifications after the SOC design has been optimized for target design constraints does not preserve the optimality of the solution obtained. In this paper, the authors present the first system-level synthesis for testability framework that integrates testability considerations into the synthesis process. Their work incorporates finite-state automata (FSA)-based symbolic testability analysis within the framework of an existing multiobjective optimization-based system synthesis tool to provide a viable solution. The experimental results show that the use of FSA-based testability analysis facilitates low test overheads and test application times without sacrificing the test coverage of the embedded cores. System synthesis through the integrated framework for a number of examples indicates that efficient SOC architectures, which tradeoff different architectural features such as integrated circuit price, power consumption, and area under real-time constraints, can now be easily generated with low testability costs.
Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:21 , Issue: 10 )
Date of Publication: Oct 2002