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Efficient Online and Offline Testing of Embedded DRAMs
July 2002 (vol. 51 no. 7)
pp. 801-809

This paper presents an integrated approach for both built-in online and offline testing of embedded DRAMs. It is based on a new technique for output data compression which offers the same benefits as signature analysis during offline test, but also supports efficient online consistency checking. The initial fault-free memory contents are compressed to a reference characteristic and compared to test characteristics periodically. The reference characteristic depends on the memory contents, but unlike similar characteristics based on signature analysis, it can be easily updated concurrently with WRITE operations. This way, changes in memory do not require a time consuming recomputation. The respective test characteristics can be efficiently computed during the periodic refresh operations of the dynamic RAM. Experiments show that the proposed technique significantly reduces the time between the occurrence of an error and its detection (error detection latency). Compared to error detecting codes (EDC) it also achieves a significantly higher error coverage at lower hardware costs. Therefore, it perfectly complements standard online checking approaches relying on EDC, where the concurrent detection of certain types of errors is guaranteed, but only during READ operations accessing the erroneous data.

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Index Terms:
Embedded memories, systems-on-a-chip, online checking, BIST.
Sybille Hellebrand, Hans-Joachim Wunderlich, Alexander A. Ivaniuk, Yuri V. Klimets, Vyacheslav N. Yarmolik, "Efficient Online and Offline Testing of Embedded DRAMs," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 51, no. 7, pp. 801-809, July 2002, doi:10.1109/TC.2002.1017700
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