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Automated synthesis of pseudo-exhaustive test generator in VLSI BIST design

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2 Author(s)
C. -I. H. Chen ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Wright State Univ., Dayton, OH, USA ; J. T. Yuen

Built-In Self Test (BIST) has been proposed as a powerful technique for addressing the highly complex testing problems of VLSI circuits. In the BIST methodology, two major problems which must be addressed are test generation and response analysis. In this paper, we present an efficient unified procedure, named three-phase cluster partitioning, to automatically synthesize a pseudo-exhaustive test generator for VLSI BIST design. Previous approaches to the problem of test generation have optimized computational efficiency at the expense of the required hardware overhead, or vice versa. Our design procedure is computationally efficient and produces test generation circuitry with low hardware overhead. The procedure minimizes the number of test patterns that are required for pseudo-exhaustive test. Based on three-phase cluster partitioning, a design generator named BISTSYN has been developed and implemented to facilitate the BIST design. The input to the design generator is a circuit description at the gate level which is viewed as a netlist. BISTSYN provides the BIST mechanisms as the output. For those conventional circuits which are extremely unsuitable for pseudo-exhaustive test, BISTSYN employs a circuit partitioning tool, named Autonomous, to partition the combinational portion of the circuit into different structural subcircuits so that each subcircuit can be pseudo-exhaustively tested. We demonstrate the effectiveness of BISTSYN by applying the method to different examples and practical VLSI designs. The detailed comparisons of our benchmark simulation results against those that would be obtained by existing techniques are also presented.<>

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 3 )