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It is known that the complexity of automatic test pattern generation (ATPG) for acyclic sequential circuits is similar to that of combinational ATPG. The general problem, however, requires time-frame expansion and multiple-fault detection and hence does not allow the use of available combinational ATPG programs. The first contribution of this work is a combinational single-fault ATPG method for the most general class of acyclic sequential circuits. Without inserting any real hardware, we create a functionally equivalent "balanced" ATPG model of the circuit in which all reconverging paths have the same sequential depth. Some primary inputs and gates are duplicated in this model, which is converted into a combinational circuit by shorting all flip-flops. A test vector obtained by a combinational ATPG program for a fault in this combinational circuit is transformed into a test sequence to detect a corresponding fault in the original sequential circuit. A combinational ATPG program finds tests for all but a small set of faults that must be explicitly detected as multiple-faults. Those are modeled for ATPG using the second contribution of this work, which is a generalized method to model any given multiple stuck-at fault as a single stuck-at fault. The procedure requires insertion of at most n+3 modeling gates for a fault of multiplicity n. We show that the modeled circuit is functionally equivalent to the original circuit and the targeted multiple fault is equivalent to the modeled single stuck-at fault. Benchmark results show at least an order of magnitude saving in the ATPG CPU time by the new combinational method over sequential ATPG.
Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:24 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: June 2005