A quote from Defect and Fault Tolerance (DFT) 2008 Symposium Key Note Speaker – Phil Nigh, IBM, PhD Carnegie Mellon University:
“The role of IC testing is changing – from being viewed as mainly a non-value (cost) operation – to one which provides additional value to products. Historically, the role of Test was to separate the good devices from the faulty ones. The emerging role of Test/Diagnostics is to provide feedback to product designers (performance, functionality, power) and to the fab (variability, sources of yield loss, defect characterization). Test is also the focal point for product dispositioning; applying unique methods to maximize yield while still achieving high levels of Quality and Reliability.”
MY VIEW: with increasing pressure to improve efficiency and reduce development and manufacturing costs (e.g. improve predictability, increase yield ramp, reduce return material costs, ...), design-process information should be quickly and accurately captured for FEEDBACK to improve modeling (device and faults), DRC, etc.
QUESTION 1: With this quote in mind - can we continue viewing design and test communities separately? Should test and diagnostics become an integral part of design and development? If we consider our design and manufacturing flows in the context of theater seating, can or should logic designers remain in one row and test designers in another?
QUESTION 2: If the answer is no, how should EDA companies help merge these communities better? Is this necessary to continue improving FEEDBACK efficiency? Do you agree that FEEDBACK is an important component?