Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sudhakar M. Reddy
Testing an integrated circuit once it has been manufactured is required in order to identify faulty and fault-free circuits. As the complexity of integrated circuits increases so does the difficulty of creating efficient and high quality tests that can detect a variety of defect types that can occur throughout the manufacturing process. Three issues facing manufacturing test are the power consumed during testing, addressing different types of fault, and test data volume.
In regards to the power consumed during testing, abnormal switching activity, far above that seen by functional operation, may occur due to the testing technique of scan insertion. While scan insertion greatly simplifies test generation for sequential circuits, it may lead to excessive switching activity due to the loading and unloading of scan data and when the scan cells are updated using functional clocks. This can potentially damage the circuit due to excessive heat or inadvertently fail a good circuit due to current supply demands beyond design specifications.
Stuck-at tests detect when lines are shorted to either the power supply or ground. Open faults are broken connections within the circuit. Some open faults may not be detected by tests generated for stuck-at faults. Therefore tests may need to be generated in order to detect these open faults. The voltage on the open node is determined by circuit parameters. Due to the feature size of the circuit it may not be possible to determine these circuit parameters, making it very difficult or impossible to generate tests for open faults.
Automated test equipment is used to apply test stimuli and observing the output response. The output response is compared to the known fault-free response in order to determine if it is faulty or fault-free. Thus, automated test equipment must store the test stimuli and the fault-free responses in memory. With increased integrated circuit complexity, the number of inputs, outputs, and faults increase, increasing the overall data required for testing. Automated test equipment is very expensive, proportional to the memory required to store the test stimuli and fault-free output response. Simply replacing automated test equipment is not cost effective.
These issues in the manufacturing test of integrated circuits are addressed in this dissertation. First, a method to reduce power consumption in circuits which incorporate data volume reduction techniques is proposed. Second, a test generation technique for open faults which does not require knowledge of circuit parameters is proposed. Third, a technique to further reduce output data volume in circuits which currently incorporate output response compaction techniques is proposed. Experimental results for the three techniques show their effectiveness.
Copyright 2010 Joseph Michael Howard
Howard, Joseph Michael. "On low power and circuit parameter independent tests, and a new method of test response compaction." dissertation, University of Iowa, 2010.