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Built-In Self-Test(BIST)


BIST (Built-In Self-Test) BIST Architecture

BIST Advantages
BIST Disadvantages & Applications Conclusion

Testing a Circuit

Test Pattern Generator

Circuit Under Test

Response Analyzer

Test Equipment Pulse and Function generators

Oscilloscope Logic Analyzers

Test Engineer


Self-Test a Circuit

Test Pattern Generator

Circuit Under Test

Response Analyzer

Package the test equipment along with the circuit!

Test Engineer

BIST (Built-In Self-Test)

BIST is a design technique in which some parts of the circuit are used for testing the circuit itself.

Parts of a circuit that must be operational to execute a self test.

Online BIST: Testing occurs during normal functional operating


Concurrent Online BIST: System doing normal functions.

Non-Concurrent online BIST: System is idling.

Off-line BIST: System brought to a test mode.

Functional Off-line BIST: Uses a high level functional model of the system. Structural Off-Line BIST: Uses structural model of system and detects structural faults.

Embedded Tester Core 1 Test Controller Test access BIST mechanism Core 2


Tester Memory BIST BIST BIST

Core 3

Core 4

Core 5

Cores have to be tested on chip

Source: Elcoteq

BIST Architecture
Key Elements of BIST Test pattern Generator (TPG) Output Response Analyzers (ORA) Circuit Under Test (CUT) A Distribution system for transmitting data from TPG to CUT and from CUT to ORAs. A BIST Controller

Test Generation and Response Compression

Test Pattern Generation for BIST

Exhaustive Testing
Exhaustive Test Pattern Generators

Pseudo-Random testing
Weighted test generator Adaptive Test Generator

Pseudo-Exhaustive testing
Constant Weight Counter Combined LFSR and Shift Register Combined LFSR and XOR Cyclic LFSR

Exhaustive Testing
Apply all possible 2^n test patterns to a n input circuit. A binary counter can be used. Or a maximum length autonomous LFSR can be used( add special circuit to generate all zeros). Normally applied when number of inputs are less than 25.

Pseudorandom Testing
Patterns are generated deterministically but have characteristics of random patterns. Pseudo-random patterns without replacement can be generated using autonomous LFSRs. Test length can be chosen to achieve the desired fault coverage. This can be determined using fault simulation.

Weighted Test Generation

Generate Test Patterns with the desired distribution of 1s and 0s. Such a generator can be constructed using a LFSR and a combinational circuit. Different parts of the circuit may require different distribution of 0s and 1s.

Adaptive Test Generation

Also employs weighted test pattern generation. Fault simulation is used to determine weights for various faults. Different distributions are used for different class of faults. A Test Pattern Generator (TPG) is designed to produce the required distributions. Advantage: Small test lengths Disadvantage: Costly TPG hardware

Pseudo-exhaustive Testing

Circuit is segmented & each segment is tested exhaustively, by Logical Segmentation, Cone Segmentation, Sensitized path segmentation, Physical Segmentation.

Requires fewer tests but has the advantage of exhaustive testing.

Segments the circuit into parts and each segment is exhaustively tested.

Response Compression for BIST

General Aspects of Compression
A simple hardware implementation.
It should not slow down normal operations. Good Compression The signatures of good and faulty circuit should be different. Small size of signature, Signature size should be log of data size.

Response compression : A process to form a signature from complete output responses. Signature : Compressed form of saved test results. Alias : Errorous output when faulty & fault-free sig. are the same.

To generate signatures for good circuit

Applying the test to good part of the CUT. Simulating the CUT and making sure of having good signature.

Fault Tolerant : Producing copies of CUT and conclude the correct signature by finding the subset which generates the same signature.

Ones count : The no. of times when 1 occurs in each output (counter). Transition count : The no. of transitions(0 =>1,1=>0) in the output (XOR +counter).
Parity checking : The parity of response string, 0 if even & 1 if odd

(XOR + D-FF).
Syndrome checking : The normalized no. of 1s in output string (k/2**n

when k is no. of minterms in an n input circuit), (All possible combination tests). LFSR : Shift register that feed back bits through XOR functions. Used both for Pseudo-Random Binary Sequence (PRBS) generation and for signature generation.


Reduced testing and maintenance cost Lower test generation cost

Reduced storage / maintenance of test patterns

Simpler and less expensive ATE Can test many units in parallel

Shorter test application times

Can test at functional system speed Faults tested:

Single stuck-at faults Delay faults Single stuck-at faults in BIST hardware

Silicon area overhead Access time Requires the use of extra pins Correctness is not assured

Mission-critical sytems. self-diagnostic circuitry (consumer electronics).

Based upon the Test Generation and Response Compression of BIST the following varitions will results.

Testing time

Memory cost

Powerconsumption Hardware cost Test quality