As the complexity of VLSI circuits increases, the semiconductor manufacturers progress towards in-situ monitored burn-in to improve the quality and reliability of their products. A new method is proposed to control the switching current drawn by a CMOS circuit during burn-in ancl test applications. This is based on reordering of the test vector is such that the circuit activity or electrical stress is modified as specified by the designer or the quality control engiineer during monitored burn-in. Results on several ISCAS-89 benchmarks show that the current (or power dissipation) requirement of a circuit can be changed by more than a factor of 4 by reordering the input test vectors. We have developecl a CAD tool which can reorder tests for monitored burn-in to achieve average switching current within 5% of the specified value. The technique can also be used to selectively produce higher switching activity in specified portions of the circuit to produce sharp temperature gradient inside the chip. Such temperature gradient can weed out defects such as crystal anomalies, junction imperfections etc, which might otherwise show up during the infant morta1ity period.


Burn-in, Reliability, Testing, Circuit Activity, power dissipation

Date of this Version

August 1994