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Silicon Debug for ICs and SoCs

The NEBULA Silicon Debugger is Intellitech's second generation DFT validation and silicon debug platform

NEBULA provides advanced features for performing early validation of DFT infrastructure and ATPG patterns in first silicon.  The NEBULA solution directly imports test pattern formats and DFT information from leading EDA vendor tools, such as Synopsys' TetraMAX and Cadence's Encounter Test. The test information can be imported without translation to NEBULA.  NEBULA has built-in support for gate and net level diagnostics using either TetraMAX or Encounter Test diagnostic engines.

The NEBULA Silicon Debugger is a silicon debug and validation platform that is remotely accessible over the network. It enables engineers to accelerate the debug of prototype IC designs, resulting in faster time-to-volume. With the remote network access capabilities of the NEBULA platform, design and test engineers can have debug and test access to first silicon from their office, or from any remote location. 

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A Structured Silicon Debug Solution

With increased circuit complexity and advanced packaging, silicon debug is becoming more difficult. Physical access and visibility into the design for debug are significantly reduced, especially during prototyping when the silicon is in-system. As a result, these designs call for structured debug methods that validate tests that later can also be used by production testers. The NEBULA Silicon Debugger platform was designed for use with these advanced debug and diagnosis methods.

Is it fast enough?  Structural stuck-at and path-delay tests do not need high-speed access to the pins of an IC as functional test does. NEBULA takes advantage of this DFT and performs the same tests with a reduced number of pins. Even though the production test patterns may need full physical access, NEBULA provides 'virtual access' and enables debug and modification of these broadside test patterns without translation.

Validate DFT with Proven Flows

The NEBULA Silicon Debugger can be used to quickly validate DFT infrastructures such as internal scan, IEEE 1149.1 Boundary Scan, memory BIST and logic BIST. It enables BIST and ATPG patterns, such as stuck-at and path-delay faults, to be validated by design and test engineers in a easy-to-use WinTel environment. With NEBULA, engineers can perform validation as soon as first silicon is available, eliminating the dependency on the limited availability of high-cost ATE resources.


  • Provides a debug solution for complex designs with advanced packaging, where physical access is limited and structured debug and test methods are needed.
  • With proven flows, easily import vectors from Synopsys TetraMAX and Cadence Encounter Test. No translations or modifications are needed.
  • Integrated support for TetraMAX and Encounter Test diagnostics to pinpoint silicon failures to the gate and net level.
  • Quickly and easily validate DFT infrastructure, and production test patterns. Accelerates debug and improves time-to-volume.
  • Start validation as soon as first silicon is available. Use to test and diagnosis first silicon, and to perform structural characterization. Eliminates the need for high-cost ATE during the prototype bring-up phase.
  • Provides ' in-situ' access to debug features of prototype silicon for functional debug, where the IC is on a board or in the system.
  • Enables debug of production test patterns in a 'in-situ' or reduced pin contact environment without test pattern translation
  • Re-useable test and debug scripts throughout the design hierarchy, silicon revisions and within different test environments saves time and reduces development costs.