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Power-Aware Test: Addressing Power Challenges In DFT And Test


Integrated circuit (IC) sizes continue to grow as they meet the compute requirements of cutting-edge applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous driving, and data centers. As design sizes increase, the total power consumption of the chip also increases. While process node scaling reduces a transistor’s size and its operating-voltage, power scaling has not kept up with the si... » read more

Signal Connectivity Checks Are Not Just For Design-For-Test Teams


By Pawini Mahajan and Raja Koneru The complexity with system-on-chip (SoC) design continues to grow, creating greater complexity of the corresponding design-for-test (DFT) logic required for manufacturing tests. Design teams are challenged not only by high gate counts and the array of internally developed and third-party IP integrated into their designs: the need to achieve high-quality manu... » read more

Merging Verification And Test


While the disciplines of functional verification and test serve different purposes, their histories were once closely intertwined. Recent safety and security monitoring requirements coupled with capabilities being embedded into devices is bringing them closer together again, but can they successfully cooperate to bring about improvements in both? Getting there may be difficult. Three phases ... » read more

Digital Test Bulks Up – Or Down


Large digital integrated circuits are becoming harder to test in a time- and cost-efficient manner. AI chips, in particular, have tiled architectures that are putting pressure on older testing strategies due to the volume of test vectors required. In some cases, these chips are so large that they exceed reticle size, requiring them to be stitched together. New testing efficiencies are needed... » read more

Using Critical Area To Boost Automotive IC Test Quality


To compete in the fast-growing market for automotive ICs, semiconductor companies need to address new challenges across the entire design flow. To meet the ISO 26262 goal of zero defective parts per million (DPPM), DFT engineers have embraced new test pattern types, including cell-aware, interconnect, and inter-cell bridge (cell neighborhood). But the traditional methods of choosing the types o... » read more

Critical Area-Based Test Pattern Optimization For High-Quality Test


Among the challenges for DFT engineers is how to set a target metric for ATPG and how to choose the best set of patterns. Traditional coverage targets based on the number of faults detected doesn’t consider the likelihood of one fault occurring compared to another. Tessent developed total critical area ATPG technology that enables the sorting and ordering of patterns based on their likelihood... » read more

Planning Ahead For In-System Test Of Automotive ICs


Automobiles are increasingly more like electronic devices than mechanical platforms. As a share of the total cost of a car, electronics components have grown from about 5% in 1970 to 35% in 2010. Electronics are projected to account for 50% by 2030 (Deloitte, 2019). Some of the electronics are for passive operations, like display or In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems, but a growing proportio... » read more

Scan Diagnosis


Jayant D’Souza, product manager at Mentor, a Siemens Business, explains the difference between scan test and scan diagnosis, what causes values in a scan test to change, how this can be used to hone in on the actual cause of a failure in a design, and how to utilize test hardware more efficiently. » read more

Squeezing Out More Test Compression


The trend in semiconductors leads to more IC test data volume, longer test times, and higher test costs. Embedded deterministic test (EDT) has continued to deliver more compression, which has been quite effective at containing test costs. For many designs, standard test compressions is enough, but ICs for use in automotive and medical devices require a higher manufacturing test quality, which t... » read more

The Single Best DFT Move You Can Make


A proven method to simplify a complex problem is to break it into smaller chunks. In the case of today’s large, complex SoCs, this means using hierarchical methods to design the blocks, then combine the results at the top level. While this sounds obvious, it hasn’t always been practical or technologically feasible to perform some tasks, like DFT, at the block level and translate that work s... » read more

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