Automated selection of signals to observe for efficient silicon debug

Joon Sung Yang, Nur A. Touba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

43 Citations (Scopus)


Internal signals of a circuit are observed to analyze, understand, and debug nonconforming chip behavior. The number of signals that can be observed is limited by bandwidth and storage requirements. This paper presents an automated procedure to select which signals to observe to facilitate early detection of circuit malfunction to help find the root cause of a bug. This paper exploits the nature of error propagation in sequential circuits by observing signals which are most often sensitized to possible errors. Given a functional input vector set, an error transmission matrix is generated by analyzing which flip-flops are sensitized to other flip-flops. Signal observability is enhanced by merging data from relatively independent flip-flops. The final set of signals to observe is determined through integer linear programming (ILP) which provides a set of locations that maximally cover the possible error sites within given constraints. Experimental results indicate that the cycle in which a bug first appears can be more rapidly and precisely found with the proposed approach thereby speeding up the post-silicon debug process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2009 27th IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2009
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event2009 27th IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2009 - Santa Cruz, CA, United States
Duration: 2009 May 32009 May 7

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE VLSI Test Symposium


Other2009 27th IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Cruz, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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