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Classification of Faults in Synchronous Sequential Circuits
September 1993 (vol. 42 no. 9)
pp. 1066-1077

Undetectable and redundant faults in synchronous sequential circuits are analyzed. A distinction is drawn between undetectable faults and faults that are never manifested as output errors. The latter are classified as redundant. It is shown that there are faults for which a test sequence does not exist; however, under certain initial conditions (or initial states) of the circuit, faulty behavior may be observed. Such faults are called partially detectable faults. A partially detectable fault is undetectable, but is not redundant, as it affects circuit operation under some conditions. The author observes that the notion of redundancy cannot be separated from the mode of operation of the circuit. Two modes of operation are considered, representative of common modes, called the synchronization mode and the free mode. Accordingly, the identification of redundant faults calls for different test generation strategies. Two test strategies to generate tests for detectable faults and partial tests for partially detectable faults are defined, called the restricted test strategy and the unrestricted test strategy.

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Index Terms:
redundant faults; undetectable faults; test sequence; initial conditions; partially detectable faults; synchronization mode; free mode; synchronous sequential circuits; faults classification; combinatorial circuits; fault location; logic testing; sequential circuits; synchronisation.
Citation:
I. Pomeranz, S.M. Reddy, "Classification of Faults in Synchronous Sequential Circuits," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 42, no. 9, pp. 1066-1077, Sept. 1993, doi:10.1109/12.241596
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