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Robust tests for parity trees

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Linear logic circuits are used extensively in digital computing and signal processing systems. They are constructed as regular arrays (for example as cascade or tree circuits), employing linear gates such as Exclusive OR (EOR) and Exclusive NOR (ENOR) gates. Earlier studies on fault diagnosis in linear logic circuits were based on the classical fault model of line stuck-at faults. Transistor stuck-open (SOP) and stuck-on (SON) faults in linear circuits were studied recently, but the effect of signal transients due to circuit delays and time skews in input changes were not considered in the derivation of test sequences. These latter factors are known to cause invalidation of two pattern tests for stuck-open faults. In this article we consider the problem of generating robust tests for linear logic circuits. These tests are not affected by circuit transients caused by delays. A major finding in this paper is that, if the test invalidation problem is redressed by introducing robust tests, the test length becomes a linear function of the depth of the circuit as opposed to the constant number of tests derived in previous studies, by neglecting circuit transients. A lower bound on minimum number of distinct test patterns needed for a tree of EOR gates of depthd is derived. This number depends on the specific implementation of the gate. Robust test-generation procedures are proposed for both single and multiple fault models and their optimalities are argued. Given that every gate in a parity tree is robustly testable, a test sequence that can test for all faults in the circuit, regardless of the nature of gate implementation, is calleduniversal robust test sequence for a parity tree. Finally we propose an optimal universal robust test sequence.

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Kundu, S., Reddy, S.M. Robust tests for parity trees. J Electron Test 1, 191–200 (1990).

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Key words

  • linear gates
  • parity trees
  • robust tests
  • test length
  • URTS