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IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006242D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Dec-18

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Gregory A. Maston


A flexible test pattern analysis system may gener- ate a mass of error messages during processing, as test stimulus is inherently repetitive in nature. To address this problem, a new model for error handling is pre- sented, with the goal being to eliminate redundant errors from the customer. This process not only allows the customer to direct attention to unique error situations, but also allows the customer to review mes- sages for commonality of cause. 1. BACKGROUND Generation of test vectors is seen as one of the most disagreeable tasks a customer must perform to release an ASIC design to an ASIC foundry. To address this situation, the Motorola SPS ASIC divi- sion has put in place a new Test Pattern Analysis Sys- tem (TESTPAS), that allows customers to analyze almost any type of stimulus information for tester compatibility. This methodology, while flexible, gen- erates some new problems. One problem in particular is the number of error messages that may be generated while processing such stimulus. Because stimulus is highly repetitive in nature, error situaiions will tend to be caught many times over, with the only difference being the location in the stimulus at which the error was caught. This situation generates reams of error information, all of which must be processed by the customer. 2. ADDRESSING TOTAL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Motorola has established a corporate fundamental objective of Total Customer Satisfaction. Satisfaction reaches into all aspects of customer requirements. The generation of redundant error messages does not lend itself to customer satisfaction. However, satisfaction can be readily improved by applying a new methodol- ogy on error messages and error message handling.