Reliability and test of high-performance integrated circuits

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Mohanram, Kartik

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As high-density, low-cost, high-performance computing devices become more ubiquitous, there is an increased necessity to address the reliable operation of such systems. Both on-line test (concurrent error detection (CED)) and off-line (manufacturing test) techniques contribute to ensuring high levels of product reliability. The first part of this thesis focuses on techniques for CED in integrated circuits. The goal is to develop techniques for the insertion of CED circuitry at higher levels of design abstraction, as well as techniques that make it easier to absorb the associated overhead costs of CED. Approaches for automated design of logic circuits that meet failure rate requirements while minimizing the impact to area, performance, and power are described. The primary emphasis in this thesis is on reducing the soft error failure rate in integrated circuits (which dominates). The latter part of this thesis focuses on off-line test techniques for high-frequency I/O ports in integrated circuits. A low-cost trigger-based solution to eliminate the problem of non-determinism that may arise due to limitations in tester edge placement accuracy during at-speed functional test of high-speed source synchronous I/O ports is described. An analysis of when the problem of non-determinism becomes significant enough to warrant the implementation of the proposed solution is also provided.




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