Digital Test and Measurement CPD Module

Start date: 11 September 2024

Duration: 15 Weeks, 11 Sept - 18 Dec 24

Location: Mainly online* course, 4 hours/week lectures, labs & tutorials + self-directed learning hours

Certificate: 9 ECTS

Cost: Members € 1150; Non-members € 1,725

Course code: N/A

Programme overview

This 15-week CPD module will focus on digital Integrated Circuit (IC) and system test. The role of the test engineer is becoming ever more diverse with activities that link into design and IC fabrication. In this course, the role of test and test development engineering will be introduced and discussed in relation to their integration within a modern semiconductor company. The actions undertaken within the role of test will be discussed, and the types of tests undertaken to identify the operation of digital ICs will be elaborated. The course will commence in week 1 with a 1-day on-campus session followed by 11 weeks of online learning through lectures, laboratories, and tutorial sessions. There will be 2 weeks of project work followed by a 1-day on-campus session for project presentation and course assessment in week 15.

Participants will need to provide their own Windows laptop (with a minimum of 16 GB of RAM).
Laboratory hardware will be provided.

Software required for the laboratory work can be downloaded (no license required).

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to do the following:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)
1. Discuss how electronic circuits and systems are tested.
2. Examine failure mechanisms in electronic circuits and systems.
3. Describe how test programs are developed for digital Integrated Circuits (ICs).

Affective (Attitudes and Values)
1. Show the need for effective testing procedures and the impact of decisions on test quality and cost.
2. Acknowledge the need to develop high quality and cost-effective test procedures within an organization.
3. Discuss how real-world non-ideal electronic circuit behavior will affect the test results obtained during test program operation.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)
1. Test digital circuits using simulation models and physical prototypes.
2. Perform tests on a digital IC circuit design and analyze the results.
3. Deliver test results in a suitable manner.

Who is the course for?

This module is aimed at meeting Continued Professional Development (CPD) needs for practicing engineers in test and test development within the semiconductor industry that include engineers implementing DFT, BIST, and ATPG strategies.

Basic Python knowledge recommended – equivalent to level thought on MIDAS Skillnet Python 3 Intro course.


*Blended learning approach with initial and final on-campus days, and otherwise online 4 hours / week of lectures, laboratories, and tutorials:

Online briefing session: Wednesday 4th September (4:00 – 5:00 pm)
On-campus day: Wednesday 11th September (10:00 am – 4:15 pm)
Weekly online sessions on Wednesdays (1:30 – 5:30 pm): Wednesday 18th September – Wednesday 27th November (lectures (1:30 – 3:30 pm), laboratory (3:30 – 4:30 pm), and tutorial (4:30 – 5:30 pm)
Online project briefing session: Wednesday 4th and Wednesday 11th December (4:00 – 5:00 pm)
On-campus day: Wednesday 18th December (10:00 am – 4:15 pm)
IC technology: Rationale for test; Defects (spot defects and process variations); Fault modelling (Stuck-at fault, bridging fault, IDDQ fault, delay fault).
Digital IC test and measurement: Functional versus structural test; Test pattern generation: manual, fault simulation, Automatic Test Pattern Generation (ATPG); Production test.
Digital circuit considerations: Combinational logic test; Sequential logic test; Memory (RAM) test; Memory (ROM) test; Parametric testing (analog considerations for digital I/O and power supply current); Processor test approaches; System on a Chip (SoC) test approaches.
DfT and BIST: Design for Testability (DfT); Built-In Self-Test (BIST).
Key IEEE standards: 1149.1; 1149.4; 1500; 1687.

Trainer Profile

Ian Grout is a lecturer within the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering in the University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. He joined the University of Limerick in 1998. He teaches mixed signal and digital IC test engineering at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Before joining the University of Limerick, he worked within the University of Lancaster, UK, on circuit design and test development teaching and research.

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