October 20, 2010 -- These days, IC design engineers have more functionality to implement in their designs than ever before, even though design schedules are shrinking. Although design-for-test (DFT) is absolutely necessary to enable thorough and cost-effective manufacturing test, it potentially makes the overall design process even more challenging.
The paradigm of the designer "throwing the design over the wall" to the test engineer was viable in the days when DFT was limited to adding scan chains to a design, and timing delays of the signal propagation across gates were relatively greater than across the interconnects. But the old paradigm no longer applies in an era where advanced DFT methodologies are necessary to limit test cost, interconnect delays are dominant and power consumption critical.
By Arif Samad. (Samad is Vice President of Engineering in the Test Automation Group of Synopsys, Inc.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.