The patent's assignee for patent number 8510072 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present subject matter relates to a circuit and design structure for an input cell for a semiconductor integrated circuit (IC). More specifically, it relates to detecting an unstable input to the integrated circuit.
"Many input/output (I/O) pins of integrated circuits are used for static control signals that are expected to not change their value over time. Examples of such signals include signals that are used during chip initialization but remain static in functional operation and 'pervasive' control signals for test modes, clock control, PLL control, driver/receiver inhibits, and the like. Any unexpected value change on these input pins may lead to unexpected and undesired effects. There can be many different reasons for such unwanted glitches such as noise, wire shorts/opens on the printed circuit board, or software/firmware malfunction. The resulting error scenarios from such faults may be complex and may difficult to track back to the root cause.
"Many integrated circuits (ICs) use a scan-based design methodology to reduce the cost and increase the coverage of test of the IC. Scan-based techniques can be very useful in determining a root-cause of defect mechanisms. While some ICs may implement a full scan-based design methodology, other designers may choose to implement a boundary scan methodology where the input/output (I/O) cells of an IC are included in a scan chain to allow easy control of IC outputs and easy capture of IC inputs at a system level."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Various embodiments involve a method for detecting unstable inputs to an integrated circuit. An input value may be received on an external input of the integrated circuit which is connected to an input cell of the integrated circuit to drive trace to the rest of the IC based on the input value. A transition may be detected on the external input during a time period that the external input is expected to be stable and a value representing the transition may be stored into a storage element. An error output may also be asserted in response to the transition.
"Embodiments may include an integrated circuit with an external input and a trace configured to be driven based on an electrical level received at the external input. A storage element may also be included where the storage element is initialized before a time period that the external input is expected to be stable. A transition detection circuit may detect a transition on the external input during the time period that the external input is expected to be stable and set the storage element to a value. An error trace may then be driven based on the value set in the storage element.
"Other embodiments may include design structures for elements of the integrated circuit described above and an electronic system utilizing the integrated circuit described above."
For additional information on this patent, see: Buechner, Thomas; Eckert, Martin; Klein, Matthias;
Keywords for this news article include:
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