Effective Domain Partitioning for Multi-Clock Domain IP Core Wrapper Design under Power Constraints

Thomas Edison YU  Tomokazu YONEDA  Danella ZHAO  Hideo FUJIWARA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E91-D   No.3   pp.807-814
Publication Date: 2008/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e91-d.3.807
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Dependable Computing
multi-clock domain,  wrapper design,  SoC,  embedded core test,  test scheduling,  

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The rapid advancement of VLSI technology has made it possible for chip designers and manufacturers to embed the components of a whole system onto a single chip, called System-on-Chip or SoC. SoCs make use of pre-designed modules, called IP-cores, which provide faster design time and quicker time-to-market. Furthermore, SoCs that operate at multiple clock domains and very low power requirements are being utilized in the latest communications, networking and signal processing devices. As a result, the testing of SoCs and multi-clock domain embedded cores under power constraints has been rapidly gaining importance. In this research, a novel method for designing power-aware test wrappers for embedded cores with multiple clock domains is presented. By effectively partitioning the various clock domains, we are able to increase the solution space of possible test schedules for the core. Since previous methods were limited to concurrently testing all the clock domains, we effectively remove this limitation by making use of bandwidth conversion, multiple shift frequencies and properly gating the clock signals to control the shift activity of various core logic elements. The combination of the above techniques gains us greater flexibility when determining an optimal test schedule under very tight power constraints. Furthermore, since it is computationally intensive to search the entire expanded solution space for the possible test schedules, we propose a heuristic 3-D bin packing algorithm to determine the optimal wrapper architecture and test schedule while minimizing the test time under power and bandwidth constraints.