FRAMINGHAM, USA: DAFCA, Inc., the premier provider of programmable IP, embedded security for system and device assurance, and software solutions that automate and accelerate ASIC and FPGA validation, announced that it has partnered with the Advanced Chip Test Laboratory (ACTL) at Carnegie Mellon University to conduct instrumentation-enhanced failure analysis for IC yield improvement.
Under the leadership of the ACTL's founder and head Professor Shawn Blanton, researchers will explore the synergies between DAFCA's ClearBlue on-chip instrumentation technology and ACTL's test-data mining research in the areas of failure analysis, diagnosis and yield.
The ACTL researches, develops and implements new methodologies for detecting, characterizing, and coping with integrated circuit failures. Research involves hardware design, algorithmic development, simulation, and silicon experiments with leading names in the industry.
Work in the ACTL is focused on extracting valuable information from the data generated from chip testing, with active projects centered on analyzing test data to ensure reliable chip operation, improve chip design and fabrication to maximize yield, and customize test to prevent bad chips from escaping to the next level of integration.
"DAFCA's expertise in examining the intricacies of IC operation through on-chip instrumentation is a natural complement to ACTL's research efforts," stated Shawn Blanton. "ACTL's goal is to improve chip design and fabrication, and tools such as DAFCA's ClearBlue help support this initiative."
DAFCA's ClearBlue solution includes a library of customizable instruments that can be inserted into the chip design via the ClearBlue Instrumentation Studio. ACTL will use the ClearBlue Instrumentation Studio and ClearBlue Silicon Validation Studio to set up triggers/assertions, capture data, apply on-chip stimulus, control scan chains and access data on instruments using JTAG ports.
ClearBlue incorporates DAFCA's patented, reprogrammable fabric to provide users with a framework for automating hardware and embedded software validation through a combination of programmable on-chip instrumentation and off-chip analysis tools and applications.
ClearBlue enables companies to achieve significant cost savings and productivity gains by allowing users to instrument and observe all critical segments of the design, including key buses, interfaces, and state machines for complex ASIC or SoC designs.
"The ACTL at Carnegie Mellon University has been providing valuable information to the semiconductor industry for years, and we are pleased to help further support the center's research efforts," said Dennis Shepard, CEO of DAFCA. "Our products are designed to increase efficiency and reliability throughout the entire integrated circuit design process, so we predict that our joint efforts will produce some very interesting -- and useful -- results."