Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Irith Pomeranz

Committee Chair

Irith Pomeranz

Committee Member 1

Anand Raghunathan

Committee Member 2

Raymond A. Decarlo

Committee Member 3

Yung- Hsiang Lu


As the clock frequency and complexity of digital integrated circuits increase rapidly, delay testing is indispensable to guarantee the correct timing behavior of the circuits. In this dissertation, we describe methods developed for three aspects of delay testing in scan-based circuits: test generation, path selection and built-in test generation.

We first describe a deterministic broadside test generation procedure for a path delay fault model named the transition path delay fault model, which captures both large and small delay defects. Under this fault model, a path delay fault is detected only if all the individual transition faults along the path are detected by the same test. To reduce the complexity of test generation, sub-procedures with low complexity are applied before a complete branch-and-bound procedure. Next, we describe a method based on static timing analysis to select critical paths for test generation. Logic conditions that are necessary for detecting a path delay fault are considered to refine the accuracy of static timing analysis, using input necessary assignments. Input necessary assignments are input values that must be assigned to detect a fault. The method calculates more accurate path delays, selects paths that are critical during test application, and identifies undetectable path delay faults. These two methods are applicable to off-line test generation. For large circuits with high complexity and frequency, built-in test generation is a cost-effective method for delay testing. For a circuit that is embedded in a larger design, we developed a method for built-in generation of functional broadside tests to avoid excessive power dissipation during test application and the overtesting of delay faults, taking the functional constraints on the primary input sequences of the circuit into consideration. Functional broadside tests are scan-based two-pattern tests for delay faults that create functional operation conditions during test application. To avoid the potential fault coverage loss due to the exclusive use of functional broadside tests, we also developed an optional DFT method based on state holding to improve fault coverage. High delay fault coverage can be achieved by the developed method for benchmark circuits using simple hardware.