An Effective BIST Architecture for Power-Gating Mechanisms in Low-Power SRAMs

Alberto Bosio1, Luigi Dilillo1, Patrick Girard1, Arnaud Virazel1, Leonardo Zordan2
1LIRMM, 2Intel Mobile Communication


In low-power SRAMs, power-gating mechanisms are commonly used to reduce static power consumption. When the SRAM is not accessed for a long period, such mechanisms allow shutting-off one or more memory blocks (core-cell array, address decoder, I/O logic, etc), thus reducing leakage currents. In order to guarantee static power reduction in low-power SRAMs, reliable operation of power gating mechanisms must be ensured by adequate test techniques. In this paper, we present an efficient Built-In-Self-Test architecture targeting defects affecting power-gating circuitry in low-power SRAMs. Experimental results show that the proposed solution improves the defect coverage and thus, it significantly increases the overall test quality compared to the state-of-the-art.