Test for detection & location of intermittent faults in combinational circuits

  • Ismaeel A
  • Bhatnagar R
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Summary & Conclusions -Faults in combinational circuits are either permanent or intermittent. Intermittent faults tend to be environment-dependent; hence altering the environment might rectify these faults. These faults can be detected by applying random input-vectors (TV). The existence of random intermittent faults might require applying more random IV before detection. The detection of permanent faults requires fewer random IV but correction demands location & replacement of the faulty device, if repair is not feasible. Thus correction of a permanent fault costs more than that of an intermittent fault. The correction cost can be reduced by detecting the type of fault. Since most operational failures in a circuit are due to intermittent faults, it is very important to detect the type of fault in order to find a cheaper solution. This paper discusses the behavior of permanent & intermittent faults in combinational circuits, and introduces a test-detection model (TDM) for these faults. The error latency for an intermittent fault is derived. Two test-strategies are intermixed in the model: random testing for fault-detection, and deterministic testing for deciding on the type of fault. The activity of intermittent faults that requires the minimum number of IV for detection is emphasized. Simulation is used to demonstrate the validity of TDM. Although the variables required in TDM can be difficult to evaluate, estimation of their values is not impossible. A worst-case analysis can always be adopted, where variables are easily evaluated, to find an upper bound on the error latency; thus detection of an intermittent fault is assured with a very high probability. The costsaving offered by intermittent-fault corrections shows the practical aspect of TDM. ©1997 IEEE.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Deterministic testing
  • Intermittent fault
  • Permanent fault
  • Random testing

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