Test power reductions through computationally efficient, decoupled scan chain modifications

Ozgur Sinanoglu, Alex Orailoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SOC test time minimization hinges on the attainment of core test parallelism; yet test power constraints hamper this parallelism as excessive power dissipation may damage the SOC being tested. We propose a test power reduction methodology for SOC cores through scan chain modification. By inserting logic gates between scan cells, a given set of test vectors & captured responses is transformed into a new set of inserted stimuli & observed responses that yield fewer scan chain transitions. In identifying the best possible scan chain modification, we pursue a decoupled strategy wherein test data are decomposed into blocks, which are optimized for power in a mutually independent manner. The decoupled handling of test data blocks not only ensures significantly high levels of overall power reduction but it furthermore delivers computational efficiency at the same time. The proposed methodology is applicable to both fully, and partially specified test data; test data analysis in the latter case is performed on the basis of stimuli-directed controllability measures which we introduce. To explore the tradeoff between the test power reduction attained by the proposed methodology & the computational cost, we carry out an analysis that establishes the relationship between block granularity & the number of scan chain modifications. Such an analysis enables the utilization of the proposed methodology in a computationally efficient manner, while delivering solutions that comply with the stringent area & layout constraints in SOC as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Reliability
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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