Test Your Test Programs Pre-Silicon: A Virtual Test Methodology for Industrial Design Flows

Sebastian Pointner, Oliver Frank, Christoph Hazott, Robert Wille

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ever increasing complexity of modern circuits and systems remains a big challenge for the semiconductor industry. Since the life cycle of new products is getting smaller and smaller, companies have to speed-up their design flows to stay competitive. This particularly holds for the efforts spent to verify and test a chip. Here, the development of proper test programs to be executed on the fabricated chip constitutes a serious bottleneck. This is because the first application of the test program on actual silicon frequently unveils errors that need to be addressed - causing debugging loops and a threat to time-to-market objectives. Consequently, it is tried to conduct these tests earlier in the design flow, i.e. before first silicon is available. In this work, we propose a corresponding virtual test methodology which allows to test a test program on a virtual representation of the chip (e.g. a SystemC description which is available early in the design process anyway). In contrast to previously proposed solutions, our methodology can be integrated in a generic and black-box fashion into existing flows, i.e. the user does not need to know whether the test program is executed on actual silicon or its virtual description. A case study within an industrial environment confirms the benefits of the proposed methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages241-246
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538670996
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event18th IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI 2019 - Miami, United States
Duration: 15 Jul 201917 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI
Volume2019-July
ISSN (Print)2159-3469
ISSN (Electronic)2159-3477

Conference

Conference18th IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami
Period15/07/1917/07/19

Keywords

  • Automatic Testing
  • Integrated Circuit Measurements
  • Integrated Circuit Testing

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