Test and Debug Solutions for 3D-Stacked Integrated Circuits

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Deutsch, Sergej


Chakrabarty, Krishnendu

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Three-dimensional (3D) stacking using through-silicon vias (TSVs) promises higher integration levels in a single package, keeping pace with Moore's law. TSVs are small copper or tungsten vias that go vertically through the substrate of a die and provide vertical interconnects to a die stacked on top. TSV-based interconnects have benefits in terms of performance, interconnect density, and power efficiency.

Testing has been identified as a showstopper for volume manufacturing of 3D-stacked integrated circuits (3D ICs). A number of challenges associated with 3D test need to be addressed before 3D ICs can become economically viable. This dissertation provides solutions to new challenges related to 3D test content, test access, diagnosis and debug.

Test content specific to 3D ICs targets defect that occur during TSV manufacturing and stacking process. One example is the effect of thermo-mechanical stress due to TSV fabrication process on the surrounding logic gates. In this dissertation, we analyze these effects and their consequences for delay testing. We provide quantitative results showing that the use of TSV-stress oblivious circuit models for test generation leads to considerable reduction in delay-test quality. We propose a test flow that uses TSV-stress aware circuit models to improve test quality.

Another example of 3D-specific test challenge is the testability of TSVs. In this dissertation, we focus on TSV test prior to die bonding, as access to TSVs is limited at this stage. We propose a non-invasive method for pre-bond TSV test that does not require TSV probing. The method uses ring oscillators and duty-cycle detectors in order to detect variations in propagation delay of gates connected to a single-sided TSV. Based on the measured variations, we can diagnose the TSV and predict the size of resistive-open and leakage faults using a regression model based on artificial neural networks. In addition, we exploit different voltage levels to increase the robustness of the test method.

In order to efficiently deliver test content to structures under test in a 3D stack, 3D design-for-test (DfT) architectures are needed. In this dissertation, we discuss existing 3D-DfT architectures and their optimization. We propose an optimization approach that takes uncertainties in input parameters into account and provides a solution that is efficient in the presence of input-parameter variations and minimizes test time, therefore reducing test cost.

Post-silicon debug is a major challenge due to continuously increasing design complexity. Traditional debug methods using signal tracing suffer from the limited capacity of on-chip trace buffers that only allow for signal observation during a short time window. This dissertation proposes a low-cost debug architecture for massive signal tracing in 3D-stacked ICs with wide-I/O DRAM dies. The key idea is to use available on-chip DRAM for trace-data storage, which results in a significant increase of the observation window compared to traditional methods that use trace buffers. In addition, the proposed on-chip debug circuitry can identify erroneous segments of observed data by using compact signatures that are stored in the DRAM a priori. Only failing intervals are off-loaded from a temporary trace buffer into DRAM, allowing for a more efficient use of the memory, resulting in a larger observation window.

In summary, this dissertation provides solutions to several challenges related to 3D test and debug that need to be addressed before volume manufacturing of 3D ICs can be viable.





Deutsch, Sergej (2015). Test and Debug Solutions for 3D-Stacked Integrated Circuits. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10450.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.