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BIST hardware synthesis for RTL data paths based on test compatibility classes

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4 Author(s)
Nicolici, N. ; Dept. of Electron. & Comput. Sci., Southampton Univ., UK ; Al-Hashimi, B.M. ; Brown, A.D. ; Williams, A.C.

A new built-in self-test (BIST) methodology for register transfer level (RTL) data paths is presented. The proposed BIST methodology takes advantage of the structural information of the RTL data path and reduces the test application time by grouping same-type modules into test compatibility classes (TCCs). During testing, compatible modules share a small number of test pattern generators at the same test time leading to significant reductions in BIST area overhead, performance degradation and test application time. Module output responses from each TCC are checked by comparators leading to substantial reduction in fault-escape probability. Only a single signature analysis register is required to compress the responses of each TCC which leads to high reductions in volume of output data and overall test application time (the sum of test application time and shifting time required to shift out test responses). This paper shows how the proposed TCC grouping methodology is a general case of the traditional BIST embedding methodology for RTL data paths with both uniform and variable bit width. A new BIST hardware synthesis algorithm employs efficient tabu search-based testable design space exploration which combines the accuracy of incremental test scheduling algorithms and the exploration speed of test scheduling algorithms based on fixed test resource allocation. To illustrate TCC grouping methodology efficiency, various benchmark and complex hypothetical data paths have been evaluated and significant improvements over the BIST embedding methodology are achieved

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 11 )