Software-based self-testing with multiple-level abstractions for soft processor cores

Chung Ho Chen, Chih Kai Wei, Tai Hua Lu, Hsun Wei Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Software-based self-test (SBST) is a promising approach for testing a processor core embedded in a system-on-chip (SoC) system. Test routine development for SBST can be based on information of different abstraction levels. Multilevel abstraction-based SBST develops the test program for a pipeline processor using the information abstracted from its architecture model, register transfer level (RTL) descriptions, and gate-level netlist for different types of processor circuits. The proposed methodology uses gate-level and architecture information to improve coverage for structural faults. This SBST methodology uses an automatic test pattern generation tool to generate the constrained test patterns to effectively test the combinational fundamental intellectual properties used in the processor. The approach refers to the RTL code and processor architecture for the rest of the control and steering logic for test routine development. The effectiveness of this SBST methodology is demonstrated by the achieved fault coverage, test program size, and testing cycle count on a complex pipeline processor core. Comparisons with previous works are also made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-517
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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