Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Smaller, ever increasingly powerful electronic devices require each more perfection from semiconductors, and new research could help producers include chip quality.

A team of researchers at the , Duke University, the National Science Foundation and the University of Connecticut say they have discovered technology that will enable the screening and testing of chip defects.

These so-called “small delay defects,” or SDDs, affect chip quality and reliability, according to the SRC, a university and private sector consortium based in RTP.

“This is a major breakthrough for chip testing,” said Mohammad Tehranipoor, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Connecticut, and Krishnendu Chakrabarty, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke.

“By evaluating each test pattern according to its unique paths before applying the patterns to silicon, it allows the industry to select only high-quality patterns for testing,” they added. “This will help to dramatically improve the quality of the test process and reduce the delay test costs while testers budgets.”

According to the SRC, SDDs such as physical defects and “noise” in chip power and function, are a “major concern.”

Current testing technology has difficulty in detecting SDDs, SRC said. The new technology provides “higher quality test patterns for screening against SDDs,” according to the SRC.

Chip manufacturer AMD is evaluating the technology. Its senior design engineer, Mahmut Yilmaz, studied under Chakrabarty at Duke.

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