IEEE International Test Conference (TC)

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  • ISSN
    1089-3539

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: Through-silicon vias (TSVs) are crucial elements of 3-D bonded integrated circuits. Since they connect different layers of 3-D stacks, their proper operation is an essential prerequisite for the system function. This paper describes a procedure for deriving fault diagnosis test sequences to identify single and multiple defective TSVs. Additional experimental results obtained for pseudorandom patterns illustrate feasibility and robustness of the proposed test schemes in terms of their detection and diagnostic capabilities and are reported herein.
    IEEE International Test Conference (TC) 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Monitoring the semiconductor manufacturing process and understanding the various sources of variation and their repercussions is a crucial capability. Indeed, identifying the root-cause of device failures, enhancing yield of future production through improvement of the manufacturing environment, and providing feedback to the designer toward development of design techniques that minimize failure rate rely on such a capability. To this end, we introduce a spatial decomposition method for breaking down the variation of a wafer to its spatial constituents, based on a small number of measurements sampled across the wafer. We demonstrate that by leveraging domain-specific knowledge and by using as constituents dynamically learned, interpretable basis functions, the ability of the proposed method to accurately identify the sources of variation is drastically improved, as compared to existing approaches. We then illustrate the utility of the proposed spatial variation decomposition method in (i) identifying the main contributor to yield variation, (ii) predicting the actual yield of a wafer, and (iii) clustering wafers for production planning and abnormal wafer identification purposes. Results are reported on industrial data from high-volume manufacturing, confirming the ability of the proposed method to provide great insight regarding the sources of variation in the semiconductor manufacturing process.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: As scan compression becomes ubiquitous, ever more complex designs require higher compression. This paper presents a novel, two-level compression system for scan input data generated by deterministic test generation. First, load care bits and X-control input data are encoded into PRPG seeds; next, seeds are selectively shared for further compression. The latter exploits the hierarchical nature of large designs with tens or hundreds of PRPGs. The system comprises a new architecture, which includes a simple instruction-decode unit, and new algorithms embedded into ATPG. Results on large industrial designs demonstrate significant data and cycle compression increases while maintaining test coverage and performance.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Practical techniques for generating test signals between 10Gbps and 50Gbps are described. An historical review shows that the problem of extending ATE to higher rates has been around for several decades, with ever-increasing speed requirements. We demonstrate, in this paper that multiplexing techniques that permitted 40-50 Mbps testing in the 1980s (then using 10-20MHz ATE) can be applied to the present problem of achieved 1000x faster rates today (40-50Gbps). Some intervening steps are shown that achieved 5-10Gbps, and recently 12-24Gbps. These are extended to demonstrate synthesis of signals between 40 and 50Gbps. The paper is intended to aid others who might face similar challenges in testing high-end products prior to the day when 50Gbps ATE becomes common-place.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: A realistic, as opposed to fixed pessimistic end-of-life method to identify paths that are at-risk to excessive degradation due to aging is presented. It uses library cell grading information to assess the cells/instances for their sensitivity to parametric degradation.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Read and write assist techniques are widely adopted to allow voltage scaling in low-power SRAMs. In particular, this paper analyzes two assist techniques: word line level reduction and negative bit line boost. The analyzed assist techniques improve read stability and write margin of core-cells when the SRAM operates at a lowered supply voltage. In this work, we investigate the impact of such assist techniques on the faulty behavior of low-power SRAMs. This analysis is based on extensive injection of resistive-open and resistive-bridging defects in core-cells of a commercial low-power SRAM. Our study determines the most stressful configuration of assist circuits to detect each faulty behavior induced by injected defects. We show that, by applying most stressful configurations of assist circuits during test phase, defect coverage can be increased up to 89% w.r.t. test solutions that do not exploit assist circuits. Based on this analysis, we present an efficient test solution that exploits the configuration of assist circuits as a parameter to maximize the detection of studied defects, while reducing time complexity up to 73% w.r.t. test flows using state-of-the-art test algorithms.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we will present two different applications of “test pattern sampling” for logic testing that have significantly improved test cost for Processors and SOCs/ASICs at IBM. The drivers and implementations for these two methods were completely different - one relying on real-time analysis/optimization applied at wafer test; the other based on off-line analysis with daily updates and real-time adjustments at Final Test.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the current hardware and testing environment limitations, sometimes a perfect coherent condition cannot be satisfied regarding Digital-to-Analog Converter testing. In this paper, the existing algorithms for non-coherent sampling are reviewed and the limitations of each algorithm are analyzed. Then an enhanced procedure is proposed with detail explanation. The experimental results show the new procedure has a higher accuracy and a broader coverage.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: The paper describes clock gating structures in practice that can impact the testability and cause silicon failure due to the race condition or timing uncertainty such as voltage droop and the process variations. The design rule check (DRC) algorithm is presented to efficiently and robustly identify such problematic structures. Furthermore, the automatic test pattern generation (ATPG) method is proposed to handle the design with such rule violations to prevent simulation mismatches while minimizing the test coverage lost.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Without appropriate stitching of scan chains, even with good diagnosis algorithm and diagnostic pattern generation, it may still result in bad scan chain diagnostic resolution. To improve the diagnostic resolution, we propose a novel Diagnosis and Layout Aware (DLA) scan chain stitching method, which is pattern independent and supports embedded scan compaction. It is based on three ideas: (1) increasing the number of sensitive scan cells, which can capture useful diagnostic information; (2) properly distributing the sensitive scan cells along the scan chains to enhance the overall resolution; (3) stitching scan cells based on their placement at layout to preserve the chip performance. Experiments on ISCAS'89/ITC'99 benchmark circuits and a real industry circuit based on 20nm technology with silicon results show that, the proposed DLA scan chain stitching method effectively improves the resolution, with negligible impact on chip performance, embedded scan compaction, transition fault coverage, and test power dissipation. The silicon results even show 7X average resolution improvement comparing to without using the proposed method.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: IP cores that are embedded in SoCs usually include embedded test compression hardware. When multiple cores are embedded in a SoC with limited tester-contacted pins, there is a need for a structured test-access mechanism (TAM) architecture that allows compressed test data stimuli and responses to be efficiently distributed to the embedded cores. This paper presents SmartScan, a TAM architecture that is based on time-domain multiplexing of compressed data. Results on industrial designs show that high quality compressed ATPG patterns can be efficiently re-applied in a very low-pin SoC test environment with very low overhead.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: For spectral testing of Built-in Self-Test Analog to Digital Converters, it is a very challenging task to precisely control the amplitude and frequency of input sinusoid signal. Amplitude over-range results in clipping ADC output and non-coherent sampling results in spectral leakage. In this paper, a new method is proposed that provides accurate spectral results even when the input to ADC is both over-ranged and non-coherently sampled. This relaxes the condition to have precise control over the input signal and thus decreases the cost. The method includes fundamental identification, removal and residue interpolation to obtain accurate spectral results. Simulations show the functionality and robustness of proposed method with both non-coherency and amplitude over-range. Measurement results of a commercially available 16-bit SAR ADC are used to verify the method for both functionality and robustness.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: We designed and tested an on-chip BIST test for high speed SerDes devices. Jitter Tolerance testing is a critical way to stress the SerDes receivers. A jitter free loopback test hardly represents the real application environment. We implemented a jitter injection technique to precisely injecting the amount of in-band and out-of-band jitter to effectively testing receiver clock and data recovery circuits (CDR). Because out-of-band jitter is more effective in stressing the CDR, it is critical to generate jitter frequency that is higher than the receiver CDR loop bandwidth. Both the jitter frequency and amplitude can be programmed digitally in this BIST implementation. And more importantly, it does NOT require any external instrument for calibration. As a result, overall production test coverage is enhanced without additional test cost and tester instrument calibration hardware.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: A series of breakthroughs in memristive devices have demonstrated the potential of using crossbar-based memristor arrays as ultra-high-density and low-power memory. However, their unique device characteristics could cause data disturbance for both read and write operations resulting in serious data reliability problems. This paper discusses such reliability issues in detail and proposes a comprehensive yet low area-/performance-/energy-overhead solution addressing these problems. The proposed solution applies asymmetric voltages for disturbance confinement, inserts redundancy for disturbance detection, and employs a refreshing mechanism to restore weakened data. The results of a case study show that the average overheads of area, performance and energy consumption for achieving data reliability, over a baseline unreliable memory system, are 3%, 4%, and 19% respectively.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: We present a distributed-multicore hybrid ATPG system which leverages the computing power of multiple machines each with multiple CPUs. The system is versatile and scalable and supports flexible configuration. Experimental results are compared to a highly efficient multicore ATPG system.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: A method of testing for parametric faults in analog circuits based on a polynomial representation of fault-free function of the circuit is presented. The response of the circuit under test (CUT) is estimated as a polynomial in the root mean square (RMS) magnitude of the applied input voltage at a relevant frequency or DC. The test then classifies the CUT as fault-free or faulty based upon a comparison of the estimated polynomial coefficients with those of the fault-free circuit. The test application needs very little augmentation of the circuit to make it testable as only output parameters are used for classification. The method is validated on an active elliptic filter and is shown to uncover parametric faults causing deviations as small as 5% from nominal values. Fault diagnosis based upon sensitivity of polynomial coefficients at relevant frequencies is discussed. Another type of circuit signatures in the form of probability moments of the output when test input is random noise are also proposed. It is shown that the sensitivity of either signature can be enhanced by a newly proposed nonlinear V-transform. Finally, an adaptive test framework leveraging from these signatures and the transform technique is shown to improve defect level and yield loss.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: 3D integration using through-silicon vias offers many benefits, such as high bandwidth, low power, and small footprint. However, test complexity and test cost are major concerns for 3D-SICs. Recent work on the optimization of 3D test architectures to reduce test cost suffer from the drawback that they ignore potential uncertainties in input parameters; they consider only a single point in the input-parameter space. In realistic scenarios, the assumed values for parameters such as test power and pattern count of logic cores, which are used for optimizing the test architecture for a die, may differ from the actual values that are known only after the design stage. In a 3D setting, a die can be used in multiple stacks each with different properties. As a result, the originally designed test architecture might no longer be optimal, which leads to an undesirable increase in the test cost. We propose an optimization approach that takes uncertainties in input parameters into account and provides a solution that is efficient in the presence of input-parameter variations. We use integer linear programming (ILP) to formulate the robust test-architecture optimization problem, and the resulting ILP model serves as the basis for a heuristic solution that scales well for large designs. The proposed optimization framework is evaluated using the ITC'02 SoC benchmarks and we show that robust solutions are superior to single-point solutions in terms of average test time when there are uncertainties in the values of input parameters.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: To enable high-volume testing of LSIs with high-speed optical and electrical interfaces, we developed a proof-of-concept device of an optical LSI test system for use in mass-production testing. Key technologies include high-density and high-performance optical functional devices and a device interface enabling simultaneous connection of optical and electrical interfaces. Our proposed system, using PLZT thin-film modulators, supports multi-channel optical bit-error-rate (BER) testing of devices with signal rates up to 30 Gb/s with results that correlate reasonably well with those measured by conventional BER test system (BERTs). Moreover, our newly developed opto-electronic hybrid interface socket enables high-volume testing with good insertion losses and repeatability. Additionally, our flexible system architecture can be used for testing at various laser wavelengths and with various parameters for optical LSIs in combination with off-the-shelf instruments for meeting optical characterization requirements.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosing functional failures in complicated electronic boards is a challenging task, wherein debug technicians try to identify defective components by analyzing some syndromes obtained from the application of diagnostic tests. The diagnosis effectiveness and efficiency rely heavily on the quality of the in-house developed diagnostic tests and the debug technicians' knowledge and experience, which, however, have no guarantees nowadays. To tackle this problem, we propose a novel agent-assisted diagnostic framework for board-level functional failures, namely AgentDiag, which facilitates to evaluate the quality of the diagnostic tests and bridge the knowledge gap between the diagnostic programmers who write diagnostic tests and the debug technicians who conduct in-field diagnosis with a lightweight model of the boards and tests. Experimental results on a real industrial board and an OpenRISC design demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed solution.
    Test Conference (ITC), 2013 IEEE International; 01/2013

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