BiST Vs. In-Circuit Sensors


Monitoring the health of a chip post-manufacturing, including how it is aging and performing over time, is becoming much more important as ICs make their way into safety-critical applications such as the central brain in automobiles. Faced with longer lifespans and a growing body of functional safety rules, systems vendors need to be able to predict when a part will fail. But as sensing auto... » read more

Taming Novel NVM Non-Determinism


New memory technologies may have non-deterministic characteristics that add calibration to the test burden — and may require recalibration during their lifetime. Many of these memories are in development as a result of the search for a storage-class memory (SCM) technology that can bridge the gap between larger, slower memories like flash and faster DRAM memory. There are several approache... » read more

Improving Simulation Throughput Using The Xcelium Parallel Logic Simulator


Simulators have been around for a long time. First, there were interpreters in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and despite being relatively slow, they were a big step up from fabricating the design and hoping it worked. However, as designs continued to increase in size, the interpreters could not keep up with simulation needs, and innovation was required for simulators to keep pace with new technology. ... » read more

BiST Grows Up In Automotive


Test concepts and methods that have been used for many years in traditional semiconductor and SoC design are now being leveraged for automotive chips, but they need to be adapted and upgraded to enable monitoring of advanced automotive systems during operation of a vehicle. Automotive and safety critical designs have very high quality, reliability, and safety requirements, which pairs pe... » read more

IC Test: Doing It At The Right Place At The Right Time


In the real world, we are slaves to our environment. The decisions we make are dependent on the resources available at any given time. In school, I remember coming up with a binary decision diagram (BDD) variable-ordering algorithm that relied on partial BDDs. Was that the best algorithm to determine the variable ordering of a BDD for a design? Probably not. However, it was easy to do as a coll... » read more

Safety Plus Security: A New Challenge


Nobody has ever integrated safety or security features into their design just because they felt like it. Usually, successive high-profile attacks are needed to even get an industry's attention. And after that, it's not always clear how to best implement solutions or what the tradeoffs are between cost, performance, and risk versus benefit. Putting safety and security in the same basket is a ... » read more

An Automated Approach To RTL Memory BIST Insertion And Verification


ASIC vendors have been traditionally incorporating built-in self test (BIST) and repair solutions in their customers' gate level netlist. This used to be the common industry practice for technology nodes of 65 nm and older. Designers were comfortable writing in-house Perl scripts to replace memory instances with combined memory-BIST (MBIST) instances and make necessary connections. However, for... » read more