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On-chip oscilloscopes for noninvasive time-domain measurement of waveforms in digital integrated circuits

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2 Author(s)
Yu Zheng ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USA ; K. L. Shepard

High-speed digital design is becoming increasingly analog. In particular, interconnect response at high frequencies can be nonmonotonic with "porch steps" and ringing. Crosstalk (both capacitive and inductive) can result in glitches on wires that can produce functional failures in receiving circuits. Most of these important effects are not addressed with traditional automatic test pattern generation (ATPG) and built-in self-test (BIST) techniques, which are limited to the binary abstraction. In this work, we explore the feasibility of integrating primitive sampling oscilloscopes on-chip to provide waveforms on selective critical nets for test and diagnosis. The oscilloscopes rely on subsampling techniques to achieve 10-ps timing accuracy. High-speed samplers are combined with delay-locked loops (DLLs) and a simple 8-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to convert the waveforms into digital data that can be incorporated as part of the chip scan chain. We will describe the design and measurement of a chip we have fabricated to incorporate these oscilloscopes with a high-frequency interconnect structure in a TSMC 0.25-/spl mu/m process. The layout was extracted using Cadence's Assura RCX-PL extraction engine, enabling a comparison between simulated and measured results.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 3 )