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Low cost test point insertion without using extra registers for high performance design

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4 Author(s)

This paper presents a new approach to improve random test coverage during physical synthesis for high performance design. This new approach performs test point insertion (TPI) to improve testability of random resistant nets. Conventional test point insertion approaches add extra registers either as control points or observation points to improve controllability or observability. However, adding extra registers has many disadvantages in high performance design. It might degrade the design performance in term of power and timing. It might also end up with even worse testability. The new approach does not add any registers; instead it only uses existing signals as test points. The test points are selected from logic paths with the most timing slack and physical placement proximity. This saves silicon area, reduces power consumption, and minimizes the design changes. The new approach also automates the test insertion process by integrating it in the physical synthesis flow. The integration helps reduce design closure turn around time significantly. Production results show nearly zero performance degradation from this approach and better testability improvement as compared to a manual test point insertion approach. Furthermore, this paper proposes a novel idea of exploiting unreachable states for test point insertion. Preliminary results on this idea are also given.

Published in:

Test Conference, 2009. ITC 2009. International

Date of Conference:

1-6 Nov. 2009