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Gemstar-VideoGuide
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Gemstar-VideoGuide
Bedford, MA

Objective – Design Revision and Keep Project On Schedule
Services – ASIC Design-For-Test (DFT)
Industry – Video Chip OEM / Program Guide Content
Application – Multi-Function Programmable Video Controller
Other – Coordination with ASIC Vendor (Texas Instruments, Inc.)

Overview
VideoGuide (a subsidiary of Gemstar) designs video chipsets that enable the distribution of program guide content through VCRs and television sets. These chips are then sold to major manufacturers of consumer electronics (i.e. Phillips, Sony, Magnavox etc.) to enable program guide functionality. After initial production, discrepancies required a revision to the design. The contractor that had previously provided DFT services was no longer available to assist with the new revision. In order to meet the schedule for tape-out, all DFT work had to be completed in 6 weeks – a schedule with no room for errors. Since the revision was unanticipated, cost containment was a high priority.

Situation
VideoGuide’s design was moderately complex and included embedded RAM with BIST (Built-in Self-Test) as well as a MIPS “Jade” microprocessor core. The design had already reached fabrication, but a number of discrepancies required a new revision of the device. During the interim, the company that previously provided DFT services exited the market – leaving VideoGuide without resources to prepare the revised design for Test and Manufacturing.

The design itself posed several issues, which complicated test preparation and generation. The biggest complication from a schedule viewpoint was integration of existing “canned” IDDQ vectors for the MIPS core, with IDDQ vectors generated during the ATPG process. This process had previously required substantial custom scripting and functional debug of the IDDQ vectors prior to hand-off to the ASIC vendor. An additional complication was that this design was to be manufactured with 3 different packages and pin-outs using the same raw die.

This “multi-package flow” was brand new to the vendor, and required separate vector sets for each package.

Solution
With intensity and focus unique to Dynazign’s culture, we executed an agreement and began work within 72 hours. Because of a close relationship with Texas Instruments (the ASIC vendor), we were given permission to work at the Texas Instruments ASIC Design Center in Waltham, MA for the duration of the process. This allowed us to work with the TI support personnel on a daily basis to ensure that the “multi-package flow” and the IDDQ integration moved forward immediately.

In the final analysis, Dynazign enabled VideoGuide to tape-out on schedule, improve fault coverage, and beat the cost estimate by 10%.

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