Digital Logic in Analog Block - How To Test It?

Analog IP blocks these days have increasing amounts of digital control logic. With very small amounts of digital logic, it's possible to just draw gates on the schematic and run targeted tests that will hopefully catch any errors. But when you have several thousand digital gates, a new approach is needed, as I discovered in a recent discussion.

"2,000 gates is probably a good transition point where people switch from manually inserting gates in a schematic to synthesis," said Bob Melchiorre, director of field operations for digital implementation at Cadence. "Beyond 2,000 gates you have to start thinking about how you're going to test it, because you cannot guarantee that simulation or targeted testing will catch all the issues. Around 10,000 gates it starts getting completely unbearable, and you cannot write enough targeted tests to find all the faults in your digital logic."

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