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CA-BIST for asynchronous circuits: a case study on the RAPPID asynchronous instruction length decoder

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5 Author(s)
Roncken, M. ; Intel Corp., Hillsboro, OR, USA ; Stevens, K. ; Pendurkar, R. ; Rotem, S.
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This paper presents a case study in low-cost noninvasive Built-in Self Test (BIST) for RAPPID, a large-scale 120,000-transistor asynchronous version of the Pentium(R) Pro Instruction Length Decoded which runs at 3.6 GHz. RAPPID uses a synchronous 0.25 micron CMOS library for static and domino logic, and has no Design-for-Test hooks other than some debug features. We explore the use of Cellular Automata (CA) for on-chip test pattern generation and response evaluation. More specifically, we look for fast ways to tune the CA-BIST to the RAPPID design, rather than using pseudo-random testing. The metric for tuning the CA-BIST pattern generation is based on an abstract hardware description model of the instruction length decodes which is independent of implementation details, and hence also independent of the asynchronous circuit style. Our CA-BIST solution uses a novel bootstrap procedure for generating the test patterns, which give complete coverage for this metric, and cover 94% of the testable stuck-at faults for the actual design at switch level. Analysis of the undetected and untestable faults shows that the same fault effects can be expected for a similar clocked circuit. This is encouraging evidence that testability is no excuse to avoid asynchronous design techniques in addition to high-performance synchronous solutions

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Advanced Research in Asynchronous Circuits and Systems, 2000. (ASYNC 2000) Proceedings. Sixth International Symposium on

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