Although much traditional FA depends on physical observation to localize failures, electrical techniques are also important, particularly with advances in design for testability (DFT) on modern ICs. DFT structures combined with automated test equipment and algorithmic fault diagnosis facilitate a test-based fault localization (TBFL) approach to identify defect locations on ICs based on scan test patterns. This article and a companion piece in the November 2001 issue of EDFA provide an overview these methods and show how they can reduce the number of potential defect sites on a chip and, in some cases, identify defects that would be missed by other techniques.

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