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Functional test generation for hard to detect stuck-at faults using RTL model checking

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2 Author(s)
Mahesh Prabhu ; Computer Engineering Research Center, University of Texas at Austin ; Jacob A. Abraham

At-speed functional testing has proven to be very effective at uncovering defective chips. However for processor testing, generating instruction level tests for covering all faults is a challenge given the issue of scalability. Data-path faults are relatively easier to control and observe compared to control-path faults. In this paper we present a novel method to generate instruction level tests for hard to detect control-path faults in a processor. We initially map the gate level stuck-at fault to the Register Transfer Level (RTL) and build an equivalent faulty RTL model. The fault activation and propagation constraints are captured using Control and Data Flow Graph of RTL as an Liner Temporal Logic (LTL) property. This LTL property is then negated and given to a Bounded Model Checker based on a Bit-Vector Satisfiability Module Theories (SMT) solver. From the counter-example to the property we can extract a sequence of instructions that activates the gate level fault and propagates the fault effect to one of the observable points in the design. Our approach is completely automatic and does not require any external information or manual intervention. Experimental results show that our method is robust and scalable for generating functional tests for hard to detect faults.

Published in:

2012 17th IEEE European Test Symposium (ETS)

Date of Conference:

28-31 May 2012