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An analysis of fault partitioned parallel test generation

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5 Author(s)
Wolf, J.M. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Virginia Univ., Charlottesville, VA, USA ; Kaufman, L.M. ; Klenke, R.H. ; Aylor, J.H.
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Generation of test vectors for the VLSI devices used in contemporary digital systems is becoming much more difficult as these devices increase in size and complexity. Automatic Test Pattern Generation (ATPG) techniques are commonly used to generate these tests. Since ATPG is an NP complete problem with complexity exponential to circuit size, the application of parallel processing techniques to accelerate the process of generating test vectors is an active area of research. The simplest approach to parallelization of the test generation process is to simply divide the processing of the fault list across multiple processors, Each individual processor then performs the normal test generation process on its own portion of the fault list, typically without interaction with the other processors. The major drawback of this technique, called fault partitioning, is that the processors perform redundant work generating test vectors for faults covered by vectors generated on another processor. An earlier approach to reducing this redundant work involved transmitting generated test vectors among the processors and fault simulating them on each processor. This paper presents a comparison of the vector broadcasting approach with the simpler and more effective approach of fault broadcasting. In fault broadcasting, fault simulation is performed on the entire fault list on each processor. The resulting list of detected faults is then transmitted to all the other processors. The results show that this technique produces greater speedups and smaller test sets than the test vector broadcasting technique. Analytical models are developed which can be used to determine the cost of the various parts of the parallel ATPG algorithm. These models are validated using data from benchmark circuits

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 5 )