Talk by Prof. Paolo Bernardi

January 19, 2023

Functional Testing techniques - A short overview encompassing Software-Based Self-Test, Burn-In Functional Stress/Test and System-Level Test

Abstract: Since the inception of IC design in the mid-1960s, IC test has been an integral part of the manufacturing process. Initially, tests were of the Functional nature of either randomly generated or created from verification suites. But as chips got larger, testing required a more targeted approach, one that needed to be easily replicated from one design to another. This led to the invention of Structural methods like scan, which made designs combinational and simplified the test generation process.

After almost 50 years, the testing scenario evolved just slightly, following technology trends currently led by the complexity of the circuits under test and the field of use (i.e., Automotive). Structural methods are still dominant, at least during the manufacturing test process, but Functional techniques are now recognized to be:

  • Useful to complement structural techniques during the manufacturing test process, such as System Level Test
  • Able to mitigate thermal issues that may originate during stress phases like along Burn-In, thus enabling test data collection during this phase.
  • Very helpful along with the useful life of the components in the mission field, to run a not destructive self-test and also able to capture and store information, opening possibilities for Silicon Lifetime Management (SLM).

The talk will provide basic and practical information about some today-relevant functional techniques in the field of Software-Based Self-Test (SBST), Burn-In Functional Stress/Test (TDBI), and System-Level Test (SLT). Automotive chip case studies from STMicroelectronics will be illustrated.

Bio: Paolo Bernardi (MS'02 and PhD'06 in Computer Science) is an Associate Professor of the Politecnico di Torino University, working in the Electronic CAD and Reliability research group. His current interests include System-on-Chiptest and reliability, especially in the direction of high-quality automotive devices. Prof. Bernardi is the General Chair of the European Test Symposium 2023 (ETS23) and the Program Chair of the Automotive Reliability and Test (ART) Workshop held in conjunction with the International Test Conference. He is an IEEE senior member.

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