Cost modelling and concurrent engineering for testable design
As integrated circuits and printed circuit boards increase in complexity, testing becomes a major cost factor of the design and production of the complex devices. Testability has to be considered during the design of complex electronic systems, and automatic test systems have to be used in order to facilitate the test. This fact is now widely accepted in industry. Both design for testability and the usage of automatic test systems aim at reducing the cost of production testing or, sometimes, making it possible at all. Many design for testability methods and test systems are available which can be configured into a production test strategy, in order to achieve high quality of the final product. The designer has to select from the various options for creating a test strategy, by maximising the quality and minimising the total cost for the electronic system. This thesis presents a methodology for test strategy generation which is based on consideration of the economics during the life cycle of the electronic system. This methodology is a concurrent engineering approach which takes into account all effects of a test strategy on the electronic system during its life cycle by evaluating its related cost. This objective methodology is used in an original test strategy planning advisory system, which allows for test strategy planning for VLSI circuits as well as for digital electronic systems. The cost models which are used for evaluating the economics of test strategies are described in detail and the test strategy planning system is presented. A methodology for making decisions which are based on estimated costing data is presented. Results of using the cost models and the test strategy planning system for evaluating the economics of test strategies for selected industrial designs are presented.