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Test Generation for Microprocessors

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2 Author(s)
Thatte, S.M. ; Central Research Laboratories, Texas Instruments Incorporated ; Abraham, J.A.

The goal of this paper is to develop test generation procedures for testing microprocessors in a user environment. Classical fault detection methods based on the gate and flip-flop level or on the state diagram level description of microprocessors are not suitable for test generation. The problem is further compounded by the availability of a large variety of microprocessors which differ widely in their organization, instruction repertoire, addressing modes, data storage, and manipulation facilities, etc. In this paper, a general graph-theoretic model is developed at the register transfer level. Any microprocessor can be easily modeled using information only about its instruction set and the functions performed. This information is readily available in the user's manual. A fault model is developed on a functional level quite independent of the implementation details. The effects of faults in the fault model are investigated at the level of the graph-theoretic model. Test generation procedures are proposed which take the microprocessor organization and the instruction set as parameters and generate tests to detect all the faults in the fault model. The complexity of the test sequences measured in terms of the number of instructions is given. Our effort in generating tests for a real microprocessor and evaluating their fault coverage is described.

Published in:

Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:C-29 ,  Issue: 6 )