1:1 with Amit Sanghani

Amit Sanghani

Redefining Expectations for Test with the New Synopsys TestMAX Family of Products

We sat down with Amit Sanghani, Vice President of the Test business unit at Synopsys, to learn more about the new Synopsys TestMAX™ family, and how it benefits many new and rapidly expanding applications, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automotive functional safety.

Q: The new Synopsys TestMAX family of products was announced at SNUG Silicon Valley on March 20. Can you tell us more about it and its importance?

Amit Sanghani:

Synopsys has been the leader of synthesis-based test technology for many years. However, new and rapidly expanding applications, such as artificial intelligence and automotive, require unprecedented levels of quality and long-term reliability that drive the need for a new generation of test solutions. Our new Synopsys TestMAX family of products delivers a comprehensive set of solutions that include a number of “shift-left” capabilities, as well as some truly innovative technologies related to automotive functional safety and high-bandwidth testing.

Q: Could you elaborate on what “shift-left” means in test and how it is reflected in the Synopsys TestMAX family of products?

Amit Sanghani:

Shift-left refers to performing test activities earlier in the design and product life cycles. Synopsys TestMAX enables many forms of shift-left improvements. The first is a new RTL DFT integration flow that allows all DFT to be verified early in the design flow while maintaining unique links into the Synopsys Fusion Design Platform for physically- and power-optimized DFT placement. The second very innovative shift-left is the ability to analyze and further debug failures on the tester as soon as they are detected. This is possible with our new TestMAX adaptive learning engine (ALE) that runs directly on the ATE. This also leads to a third shift-left, where system failures can be analyzed on-the-spot by moving the ALE into the system and having it communicate through the cloud to a design data depository.

Q: Can you elaborate on some of the benefits of Synopsys TestMAX for new applications such as IoT and automotive?

Amit Sanghani:

Well, in addition to the various shift-left improvements I just outlined, I am very excited about a new in-system test technology that I believe is game-changing. Our XLBIST solution provides the ability for logic BIST to tolerate X, or unknown, states in the functional logic during testing. This is a critical improvement, as any Xs discovered post-tapeout ordinarily invalidate the logic BIST test and will therefore typically require a design respin. TestMAX XLBIST not only avoids this costly problem, but due to its unique data reseeding approach, it generally enables significant test coverage and test time improvements over regular logic BIST solutions.

Q: You mentioned Synopsys TestMAX delivers some truly innovative solutions for high-bandwidth testing. Can you explain further?

Amit Sanghani:

Manufacturing test times are becoming more and more of a problem. Test application bandwidth is generally not scaling as it is more difficult to grow the number of test pins and test clock frequencies. Synopsys TestMAX introduces a radically new solution to this problem that makes use of high-speed functional interfaces like USB and PCI Express that exist on most devices today. It provides the ability to apply all manufacturing tests through one or more of these functional interfaces, resulting in almost unlimited test bandwidth.

Q: How does Synopsys TestMAX fit into the Synopsys Fusion Design Platform?

Amit Sanghani:

Several Synopsys TestMAX products are part of the Fusion Design Platform created to fuse the lines of demarcation between RTL, synthesis, and place-and-route, and minimize the number of iterations in the design flow. Physical- and power-aware DFT implementation is achieved through the fused links between TestMAX Advisor, TestMAX DFT, Design Compiler NXT, IC Compiler II, and Fusion Compiler, resulting in significant improvements to routing congestion and area overhead.

Q: Thank you for sharing some in-depth details about the Synopsys TestMAX family. Do you have any closing remarks?

Amit Sanghani:

Early reaction to Synopsys TestMAX from customers has been incredibly positive thus far. The fact that we are already engaged with several customers on many of the new Synopsys TestMAX products, I think, is a strong indication that Synopsys is providing solutions DFT engineers truly need.