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As diagnostic testing for memory devices increasingly gains in importance, companies are looking for flexible, cost effective methods to perform diagnostics on their failing devices. This paper proposes the new concept of test primitives as a method to diagnose memory faults. Test primitives provide an easy-to-use, extensible, low-cost memory fault diagnosis method that is universally applicable, since it uses simple platform-independent test sequences. The paper defines the concept of test primitives, shows their importance and gives examples to the way they are derived and used in a memory test environment.