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On the Reuse of Read and Write Assist Circuits to Improve Test Efficiency in Low-Power SRAMs

Abstract : Read and write assist techniques are widely adopted to allow voltage scaling in low-power SRAMs. In particular, this paper analyzes two assist techniques: word line level reduction and negative bit line boost. The analyzed assist techniques improve read stability and write margin of core-cells when the SRAM operates at a lowered supply voltage. In this work, we investigate the impact of such assist techniques on the faulty behavior of low-power SRAMs. This analysis is based on extensive injection of resistive-open and resistive-bridging defects in core-cells of a commercial low-power SRAM. Our study determines the most stressful configuration of assist circuits to detect each faulty behavior induced by injected defects. We show that applying most stressful configurations of assist circuits during test phase can increase defect coverage up to 89% w.r.t. test solutions that do not exploit assist circuits. Based on this analysis, we present an efficient test solution that exploits the configuration of assist circuits as a parameter to maximize the detection of studied defects, while reducing time complexity up to 33% w.r.t state-of-the-art test algorithms.
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Contributor : Luigi Dilillo <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 29, 2013 - 5:07:07 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 27, 2020 - 6:04:03 PM




Leonardo B. Zordan, Alberto Bosio, Luigi Dilillo, Patrick Girard, Aida Todri-Sanial, et al.. On the Reuse of Read and Write Assist Circuits to Improve Test Efficiency in Low-Power SRAMs. ITC: International Test conference, Sep 2013, Anaheim, CA, United States. pp.1-10, ⟨10.1109/TEST.2013.6651927⟩. ⟨lirmm-00818977⟩



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