Software-based self-test methodology for crosstalk faults in processors

Xiaoliang Bai, Li Chen, S. Dey
Eighth IEEE International High-Level Design Validation and Test Workshop  
Due to signal integrity problem's inherent sensitivity to timing, power supply voltage and temperature, it is desirable to test AC failures such as crosstalk-induced errors at operational speed and in the circuit's natural operational environment. To overcome the daunting cost and increasing performance hindrance of high-speed external testers, Software-Based Self-Test (SBST) is proposed as a high-quality low-cost at-speed testing solution for AC failures in programmable processors and
more » ... essors and System-on-Chips (SoC). SBST utilizes low-cost testers, applies tests and captures test responses in the natural operational environment. Hence SBST avoids artificial testing environment and external tester induced inaccuracies. Different from testing for stuck-at faults, testing for crosstalk faults requires a sequence of test vectors delivered at the operational speed. SBST applies tests in functional mode using instructions. Different instructions impose different controllability and observability constraints on a module-under-test (MUT). The complexity of searching for an appropriate sequence of instructions and operands becomes prohibitively high. In this paper, we propose a novel methodology to conquer the complexity challenge by efficiently combining structural test generation technique with instruction-level constrains. MUT in several time frames is automatically flattened and augmented with Super Virtual Constraint Circuits (SuperVCCs), which guide an automatic test pattern generation (ATPG) tool to select appropriate test instructions and operands. The proposed methodology enables automatic test program generation and highfidelity test solution for AC failures. Experimental results are shown on a commercial embedded processor (Xtensa
doi:10.1109/hldvt.2003.1252468 dblp:conf/hldvt/BaiCD03 fatcat:jcavatsccbfhtmefv5ywnxwhci