Electronic Design

Embedded Memories Test And Repair Themselves

Lower cost and higher yields for SoCs with embedded memories are promised by Virage Logic's Self-Test and Repair (STAR) Memory System. SoC designers need a better means of designing, testing, and increasing yield for embedded memories. The STAR system provides this by enabling the complete em-bedded memory test and repair function to be included on the chip.

Intelligence is built into the memories themselves, so there's no need for expensive external testers or laser equipment. The system also eliminates test development time and cost for shorter time-to-market as well.

The STAR system embodies both redundancy, which can replace defective bits, and the test-and-repair STAR processor, which automatically accesses each memory instance on the SoC. Through proprietary self-repair and redundancy allocation algorithms, the STAR processor quickly tests and repairs the memories. The repair data or signature is then stored in a fuse box or register on the chip, and it can be executed either at wafer sort or at system power-on.

The STAR processor's self-test module provides foundry-specific test algorithms designed to detect more than 99% of memory defects. Its self-diagnosis module offers error logging and scan-out of failure data if required. The self-repair module determines the optimum redundancy scheme when failure occurs. The reconfiguration data module translates the redundancy allocation into a memory-specific repair signature.

STAR SRAM embedded memories are available at 4 Mbytes and 512 kbytes. Licenses start at $170,000.

Virage Logic Corp., 46501 Landing Pkwy., Fremont, CA 94538; (510) 360-8000; www.viragelogic.com.

TAGS: Intel
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