SOC test architecture design for efficient utilization of test bandwidth

S.K. Goel, E.J. Marinissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


This article deals with the design of on-chip architectures for testing large system chips (SOCs) for manufacturing defects in a modular fashion. These architectures consist of wrappers and test access mechanisms (TAMs). For an SOC with specified parameters of modules and their tests, we design an architecture that minimizes the required tester vector memory depth and test application time. In this article, we formulate the test architecture design problems for both modules with fixed- and flexible-length scan chains, assuming the relevant module parameters and a maximal SOC TAM width are given. Subsequently, we derive a formulation for an architecture-independent lower bound for the SOC test time. We analyze three types of TAM under-utilization that make the theoretical lower bound unachievable in most practical architecture instances. We present a novel architecture-independent heuristic algorithm that effectively optimizes the test architecture for a given SOC. The algorithm efficiently determines the number of TAMs and their widths, the assignment of modules to TAMs, and the wrapper design per module. We show how this algorithm can be used for optimizing both test bus and TestRail architectures with either serial or parallel test schedules. Experimental results for the ITC'02 SOC Test Benchmarks show that, compared to manual best-effort engineering approaches, we can save up to 75% in test times, while compared to previously published algorithms, we obtain comparable or better test times at negligible compute time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-429
JournalACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • algorithm
  • SOC test
  • TAM and wrapper design
  • lower bound
  • test scheduling
  • idle bits
  • bandwidth utilization


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