Thermal characterization of test techniques for FinFET and 3D integrated circuits

Aoxiang Tang, Niraj K. Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Power consumption has become a very important consideration during integrated circuit (IC) design and test. During test, it can far exceed the values reached during normal operation and, thus, lead to temperatures above the allowed threshold. Without appropriate temperature reduction, permanent damage may be caused to the IC or invalid test results may be obtained. FinFET is a double-gate field-effect transistor (DG-FET) that was introduced commercially in 2012. Due to the vertical nature of FinFETs and, hence, weaker ability to dissipate heat, this problem is likely to get worse for FinFET circuits. Another technology rapidly gaining popularity is 3D IC integration. Unfortunately, the compact nature of a multidie 3D IC is likely to aggravate the temperature-during-test problem even further. Hence, before temperature-aware test methodologies can be developed, it is important to thermally analyze both FinFET and 3D circuits under test. In this article, we present a methodology for thermal characterization of various test techniques, such as scan and built-in self-test (BIST), for FinFET and 3D ICs. FinFET thermal characterization makes use of a FinFET standard cell library that is characterized with the help of the University of Florida doublegate (UFDG) SPICE model. Thermal profiles for circuits under test are produced by ISAC2 from University of Colorado for FinFET circuits and HotSpot from University of Virginia for 3D ICs. Experimental results indicate that high temperatures result under BIST and much less often under scan, and that both power consumption and test application time should be reduced to lower the temperature of circuits under test, just reducing the power consumption is not enough.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Theory


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