Multi-Degree Smoother for Low Power Consumption in Single and Multiple Scan-Chains BIST

Abdallatif S. Abu-Issa1 and Steven F. Quigley2
1Faculty of Information Technology, Birzeit University, Birzeit, P.O. Box 14, Palestine, 2School of Electronic, Electrical, and Computer Engineering. The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


This paper presents a smoothing technique for the output sequence of linear feedback shift registers (LFSR) to reduce power consumption in test-per-scan built-in self-test (BIST) applications. The proposed smoother is implemented by adding one multiplexer between the LFSR and scan-chain input of a single scan-chain. The size of the multiplexer is determined the desired smoothing degree. When the smoothed sequence of the LFSR is used to feed the test patterns in test-per-scan BIST, it reduces the number of transitions that occur at scan-chain input during scan shift operations by 25% to 50% depending on the smoothing degree, and hence reduces switching activity in the circuit-under-test (CUT) during test application. The proposed technique can be extended to multiple scan-chains BIST, also to test-per-clock applications. Various properties of the proposed technique and the methodology of the design are presented in this paper. Experimental results for the ISCAS’89 benchmark circuits show that the proposed design can reduce the switching activity up to 55% with a negligible effect on the fault coverage and test application time.