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Testing Network-on-Chip Communication Fabrics

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4 Author(s)
Cristian Grecu ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC, Canada ; AndrÉ Ivanov ; Resve Saleh ; Partha P. Pande

Network-on-chip (NoC) communication fabrics will be increasingly used in many large multicore system-on-chip designs in the near future. A relevant challenge that arises from this trend is that the test costs associated with NoC infrastructures may account for a significant part of the total test budget. In this paper, we present a novel methodology for testing such NoC architectures. The proposed methodology offers a tradeoff between test time and on-chip self-test resources. The fault models used are specific to deep submicrometer technologies and account for crosstalk effects due to interwire coupling. The novelty of our approach lies in the progressive reuse of the NoC infrastructure to transport test data to the components under test in a recursive manner. It exploits the inherent parallelism of the data transport mechanism to reduce the test time and, implicitly, the test cost. We also describe a suitable test-scheduling approach. In this manner, the test methodology developed in this paper is able to reduce the test time significantly as compared to previously proposed solutions, offering speedup factors ranging from 2x to 34x for the NoCs considered for experimental evaluation.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 12 )