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Macro Test Circuit Generation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000085656D
Original Publication Date: 1976-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 7 page(s) / 119K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Horstmann, P: AUTHOR

Abstract

Macro test circuit generation is a technique whereby the user can generate test circuits which will test a specific part of his program. The user in this case is anyone, who in the course of writing a program, needs to test it. The programs under discussion here use descriptions of logic circuits as input. This method allows the user to easily generate these test circuit descriptions from a given macro library to a given set of specifications. The test circuit descriptions are to be used to test aspects of the user program; the circuits themselves are not the object of the testing.

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Macro Test Circuit Generation

Macro test circuit generation is a technique whereby the user can generate test circuits which will test a specific part of his program. The user in this case is anyone, who in the course of writing a program, needs to test it. The programs under discussion here use descriptions of logic circuits as input. This method allows the user to easily generate these test circuit descriptions from a given macro library to a given set of specifications. The test circuit descriptions are to be used to test aspects of the user program; the circuits themselves are not the object of the testing.

For this technique to work, the macro set or library must first be created or selected. To form this library, a set of fundamental characteristics which exemplify the basic building blocks of which a circuit can be constructed, must be defined. These characteristics are user defined to allow the finished test circuit description to test specific aspects of the program. The test circuits are chosen specifically to test specific features of the program code.

Once this set of characteristics has been formulated, macro circuit descriptions are chosen which exhibit one or more of these characteristics. These are put into a file accessible for test circuit generation. The user can gather these circuit macros from available circuit manuals. If the desired macro type cannot be found, the user can or must create it himself. To create the macro, the described technique can be used by treating the desired macro form as an input circuit and building the macro from scratch. When done, this macro can be added to the macro library.

Now that the library of macro circuits has been created the machine generation of test circuits can be started. Of course, this library need only be generated once for many test circuits. The first step 1 in Fig. 1 is the selection of the macro types from the library to build the desired test circuit. The test circuit generation program must be provided as input, which are the set of characteristics 4 (circuit features) to be used to test the user's program.

These characteristics are those already formulated, plus additional ones for depth of interconnects. Macro types are selected which will provide the desired circuit characteristics according to a list description of macros and their associated characteristics. These types are selected such that when they are interconnected they exhibit the input characteristics, even though an individual macro may not have those characteristics. If no match can be found between the input characteristics and the macro library characteristics, then select the most basic macros in the library or logic primitives and let the interconnection phase create the desired macro.

Once the macro types have been selected, the next step 2 in Fig. 1 is to interconnect them to realize the desired test circuit. Start with the circuit characteristics which cannot be approximated by macro type...