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248 VLSI Test Principles and Architectures 4.11.5 Designing a High-Level ATPG Because of the exponentially complex nature of ATPG, its performance can be severely limited to the size of the circuit. As a result, conventional gate-level ATPG may produce unsatisfactory results for large circuit sizes. On the other hand, higher level ATPGs have the advantages of fewer circuit primitives and easier access to circuit functional information that may enhance the ATPG effort. The circuit is first given in a high-level description such as VHDL, Verilog, or SystemC. Then, the design is read in and an intermediate representation is con- structed. Similar to gate-level ATPGs, the representation allows the high-level ATPG to traverse through the circuit and make decisions on the search. However, because the signals may not be Boolean, value justification and fault-effect propagation must work on the integer level. Backtracking mechanisms also have to be modified.
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