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Investigation of Mean-Error Metrics for Testing Approximate Integrated Circuits

Marcello Traiola 1 Arnaud Virazel 1 Patrick Girard 1 Mario Barbarcschi 2 Alberto Bosio 1 
1 TEST - Test and dEpendability of microelectronic integrated SysTems
LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
Abstract : Approximate Computing (AxC) is increasingly becoming a new design paradigm for energy-efficient Integrated Circuits (ICs). Specifically, application resiliency allows a tradeoff between accuracy and efficiency (energy/area/performance). Therefore, in recent years, Error Metrics have been proposed to model and quantify such accuracy reduction. In addition, Error thresholds are usually provided for defining the maximum allowed accuracy reduction. From a testing point of view, Approximate Integrated Circuits offer several opportunities. Indeed, approximation allows one to individuate a subset of tolerable faults, which are classified according to the adopted threshold. Thanks to fewer required test vectors, one achieves test-cost reduction and improvements in yield. Therefore, using metrics based on the calculation of Mean Errors (ME metrics), has become a major testing challenge. In this paper, we present this problem and investigate the technical requirements necessary for ME metric testing. We perform experiments on arithmetic circuits to study opportunities and challenges in terms of complexity. Our results show that one can filter up to 21% of faults and also highlight the complexity of the problem in terms of execution-time.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 10:59:32 AM
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Marcello Traiola, Arnaud Virazel, Patrick Girard, Mario Barbarcschi, Alberto Bosio. Investigation of Mean-Error Metrics for Testing Approximate Integrated Circuits. 31st IEEE International Symposium on Defect and Fault Tolerance in VLSI and Nanotechnology Systems (DFT 2018), Oct 2018, Chicago, United States. pp.1-6, ⟨10.1109/DFT.2018.8602939⟩. ⟨lirmm-02099895⟩



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