Test-volume reduction in systems-on-a-chip using heterogeneous and multilevel compression techniques

Loganathan Lingappan, Srivaths Ravi, Anand Raghunathan, Niraj K. Jha, Srimat T. Chakradhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this paper, the authors present compression techniques for effectively reducing the test-data-volume requirements of modern systems-on-a-chip (SOC). Their techniques are based on the following observations: 1) Conventional test compression schemes, which are designed to satisfy various constraints including low hardware overheads and decompression times, cannot fully exploit compression opportunities present in test data and 2) due to the diversity of components used in SOCs (and consequently in their test strategies and test-data characteristics), a single compression strategy may not be best suited to handle them. The authors propose the use of multilevel and heterogeneous test compression schemes to address the above issues and demonstrate that they can provide significant reductions in the test volume above currently known state-of-the-art test compression techniques. An architecture that reuses infrastructure components already present in SOCs (programmable processors, on-chip communication architecture, memory, etc.) for an efficient implementation of their techniques is proposed. Finally, the authors suggest various architectural-customization techniques, such as partitioning of the decompression functionality between the hardware and software and the addition of custom instructions, to improve decompression times and reduce hardware overheads. Experiments with several designs, including an industrial media-processing SOC, demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed techniques in achieving test-data-volume reductions with low overheads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1677701
Pages (from-to)2193-2205
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Data compression
  • System-on-a-chip
  • Test data
  • Test volume


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