, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 599-611

Multiple-Constraint Driven System-on-Chip Test Time Optimization

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Abstract

The cost of testing SOCs (systems-on-chip) is highly related to the test application time. The problem is that the test application time increases as the technology makes it possible to design highly complex chips. These complex chips include a high number of fault sites, which need a high test data volume for testing, and the high test data volume leads to long test application times. For modular core-based SOCs where each module has its distinct tests, concurrent application of the tests can reduce the test application time dramatically, as compared to sequential application. However, when concurrent testing is used, resource conflicts and constraints must be considered. In this paper, we propose a test scheduling technique with the objective to minimize the test application time while considering multiple conflicts. The conflicts we are considering are due to cross-core testing (testing of interconnections between cores), module testing with multiple test sets, hierarchical conflicts in SOCs where cores are embedded in cores, the sharing of the TAM (test access mechanism), test power limitations, and precedence conflicts where the order in which tests are applied is important. These conflicts must be considered in order to design a test schedule that can be used in practice. In particular, the limitation on the test power consumption is important to consider since exceeding the system's power limit might damage the system. We have implemented a technique to integrate the wrapper design algorithm with the test scheduling algorithm, while taking into account all the above constraints. Extensive experiments on the ITC'02 benchmarks show that even though we consider a high number of constraints, our technique produces results that are in the range of results produced be techniques where the constraints are not taken into account.