Improving the effectiveness of combinational decompressors through judicious partitioning of scan cells

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While integrated circuits of ever increasing size and complexity necessitate larger test sets for ensuring high test quality, the consequent test time and data volume reflect into elevated test costs. Test data compression solutions have been proposed to address this problem by storing and delivering stimuli in a compressed format. The effectiveness of these techniques, however, strongly relies on the distribution of the specified bits of test vectors. In this paper, we propose a scan cell partitioning technique so as to ensure that specified bits are uniformly distributed across the scan slices, especially for the test vectors with higher density of specified bits. The proposed scan cell partitioning process is driven by an integer linear programming (ILP) formulation, wherein it is also possible to account for the layout and routing constraints. While the proposed technique can be applied to increase the effectiveness of any combinational decompression architecture, in this paper, we present its application in conjunction with a fan-out based decompression architecture. The experimental results also confirm the compression enhancement of the proposed methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-448
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electronic Testing: Theory and Applications (JETTA)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Combinational decompressors
  • Scan cell partitioning
  • Scan-based testing
  • Test data compression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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