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On-chip structures for timing measurement and test

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Kinniment, Dr Oleg Maevsky, Dr Alex Bystrov, Dr Gordon Russell, Professor Alex Yakovlev



This paper describes the use of digitally set delay lines in conjunction with MUTEX time comparison circuits, to measure on-chip signal path timing differences to accuracies of better than 10ps. Three methods of time measurement are described. The first, which uses parallel MUTEXs with a tapped delay line, is analogous to a flash A/D converter. The second one is similar to a successive approximation method. Both are fast, and efficient, but the second requires less hardware for a large number of bits. The third technique uses a MUTEX to amplify small time differences to a measurable size. Applications for these techniques include adaptive synchronization and input tests, such as data set-up time conditions that currently require the use of very expensive test hardware. We describe an on-chip method of testing these conditions, using uncorrelated signals whose statistics are known, and accurately selecting the conditions to be tested on-chip.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kinniment DJ, Maevsky OV, Bystrov A, Russell G, Yakovlev A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Microprocessors and Microsystems

Year: 2003

Volume: 27

Issue: 9

Pages: 473-483

Date deposited: 26/11/2004

ISSN (print): 0141-9331

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9436

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/S0141-9331(03)00096-6


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