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TIS (test instruction set) is an instruction level technique for CPU core self-testing. This method is based on enhancing a CPU instruction set with test instructions. TIS replaces the NOP instruction that is available in most processors with test instructions so that online testing can be done with no performance penalty. This method can be applied to both offline and online (concurrent) testing of all types of processors (single-cycle, multi-cycle and pipelined). TIS is appropriate for pipelined architectures in which one or many NOP instructions (or stalls) are inserted between instructions that are data or control dependent. We have implemented this test method on a pipelined CPU core and several test programs for this pipelined CPU are used to illustrate the method. Also fault coverage results are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the TIS test technique.